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Suryakant Jena

News Highlights

  • She will get a cash award of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation at the Ekalabya Puraskar programme.
  • International women cyclist Swasti Singh and footballer Pyari Xaxa will also be felicitated for their remarkable performances

International badminton player from Odisha, Rutaparna Panda will be conferred with the prestigious 29th Ekalabya Puraskar for the year 2021.

Ekalabya Puraskar, the most prestigious sports award of Odisha has been instituted by IMPaCT, the charitable wing of IMFA, which is the leading Ferro Alloys producer in the country.

The Ekalabya Puraskar Committee comprising jury members drawn from different walks of life unanimously selected Rutaparna for the prominent honor in a meeting held on Sunday, the IMFA said in a press release.

A mercurial Badminton player who has represented the nation in several international tournaments, Rutaparna is credited with many wins for the women's badminton team from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2021.

She will get a cash award of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation at the Ekalabya Puraskar programme to be held under the strict observation of Covid restrictions, the statement said.

Besides Rutaparna, two other sportspersons, international women cyclist Swasti Singh and footballer Pyari Xaxa will also be felicitated for their remarkable performances at international & national levels in their respective fields. Both will receive a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- each along with citations.

The date for Ekalabya Puraskar function will be announced later, the IMFA said in the press release.

Ekalabya Puraskar has come a long way to be recognized as the most prestigious sports award of Odisha since 1993 and draws parallels with many national awards.

A mere look at the career graph of many of the past awardees confirms that over the years, it has been a morale booster for the best sporting talents in the State.

The award is given every year to young sportspersons of Odisha in recognition of their outstanding performance in the preceding two years.

Announcing the names of the award winners, Baijayant Panda, the Chairperson of Ekalabya Puraskar Committee and Trustee of IMPaCT said, "IMPaCT has been in continuous pursuit to recognize and foster excellence in sports and Literature besides contributing to the general welfare of the society at large. Ekalabya Puraskar is instituted to encourage and inspire young sports persons to perform at national and international arena."

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