As Dutee gears up to hit the tracks at Rio, parents, villagers conduct special puja

Gopalpur (Jajpur): As star Odia sprinter Dutee Chand readies for her Olympics debut at Rio de Janeiro tomorrow, family members of the sprint sensation and villagers conducted special pujas to pray for her success at Gopalpur, her village here in Jajpur district, today.

Parents of the sprint queen offered special pujas praying for a medal for their daughter.

“I lit earthen lamps at Mahaveer Hanuman,our village goddess (gram devati) and goddess Mangala to pray for success of my daughter. ….Prayed Hari Gosein especially for her success,” Dutee’s mother said.

“Everyone has an expectation from her. May she return with accolades with the blessing of Lord Jagannath,” she added.

A three-day yajna started at her home with special ‘sankirtan’ is being attended by the villagers. “The yajna will conclude (Purnahuti) on Sunday when she would return with a medal,” the priest conducting the ritual said.

“Hanuman Chalisa’ will be recited 108 times today followed by ‘Sodasha Upachara’ puja of goddess Tarini tomorrow. The earthen lamps will continue to glow till the conclusion of the puja,” he added.

The priest said it is God, who has sent her to the European country to take part in the big event. “And he (God) alone can give her success. We hope she comes back with a medal,” the priest maintained.

Villagers, who have witnessed from close quarters her hard labour to reach where she has, are confident about Dutee winning a medal. “She has toiled a lot and we are sure about her victory. God can’t betray her,” a neighbour of Dutee said.

“We have prayed to God to bless her. Our good wishes are with her,” she added.

Meanwhile, students of sports hostel in Bhubaneswar lighted earthen lamps at the nearest temple praying for Dutee’s success.

While the field events begin today, Dutee, the first woman to represent India in the 100-meter event after PT Usha, will hit the tracks tomorrow morning

In an exclusive interview to OTV from Rio before her event, Dutee said, “I have won many medals at national and international events. But I had a dream to represent India in Olympics and now it has come true.”

“Though getting a medal in the Olympics will not be an easy task, I will try my best to bag a medal in the event and bring laurels for my country and state,” a confident Dutee said.