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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Weightlifter Jhili Dalabehera was bestowed with the 27th Ekalabya Pursakar-2019 at a glittering function held at Bhubaneswar on Friday. Ekalabya Puraskar instituted by IMPaCT, the charitable wing of Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA) is presented to outstanding young sports persons every year for their contribution to sports and bringing laurels for the State and country.

‘Dhakkad' girl and wrestler Babita Phogat, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away the award to Dalabehera. She received a cash award of Rs 5 lakh and a citation.

Apart from Dalabehera, two other women sportspersons- hockey player Namita Toppo and footballer Jabamani Tudu also received special citation awards during the Ekalabya Puraskar ceremony today.

In an exclusive interview to OTV, wrestler Babita Phogat said that “My effort has always been to work for girls so that they emerge as winners in all respect. Every girl needs to be mentally strong and take on any challenge in life.”

Phogat, who has won several medals for India, further said that, “For me watching the Tricolour fly high is the best moment which can’t be expressed in words.”

Speaking on the occasion, weightlifter Jhili Dalabehera said, "Such encouragement will help players to perform well."

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