Sports and Youth Services Department of Odisha Government on Tuesday nominated a number of illustrious sports personalities from the State for the National Sports Awards 2021.
The department has recommended the name of ace sprinter Dutee Chand for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour in India.
Veteran hockey defender Birendra Lakra has been nominated for the prestigious Arjun Award conferred for outstanding performance in sports and games.
For the Dhyan Chand Award, the department has recommended the name of former sprinter and Olympian Anuradha Biswal. Eminent hockey coach Kalu Charan Choudhury has been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
While, Dhyan Chand Award is presented for lifetime achievement in sports and games, Dronacharya Award is conferred to the outstanding coaches.
The State government has also nominated KIIT Deemed to be University and Odisha Mining Corporation for Rashtriya Khel Prostahan Puraskar for identifying and nurturing budding talents in the State.
The national sports awards are presented in various categories every year by the Sports Ministry of the Government of India on the occasion of National Sports Day on August 29.
Last year, as many as 65 recipients were bestowed with the awards virtually by President Ram Nath Kovind. It was for the first time that ceremony was conducted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The prize money was also increased significantly with the Khel Ratna awardees now receiving Rs 25 lakh, Arjuna awardees Rs 15 lakh, Dhronacharya (Lifetime) awardees Rs 15 lakh, and Dhyanchand winners Rs 10 lakh.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)