Sakshi returns to rousing welcome

Sakshi returns to rousing welcome

Sakshi returns to rousing welcome

Haryana on Wednesday honoured its “daughter” Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik by appointing her the brand ambassador of the Prime Minister’s flagship ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign and presenting her a cheque for Rs 2.5 crore.

A rousing reception in New Delhi–after the freestyle wrestler arrived from Rio de Janeiro in the wee hours–was followed by another grand welcome by the Haryana government.

Sakshi, who ended India’s medal drought at the Rio Olympics, was greeted by her parents, relatives and ministers of the state government at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The 23-year-old athlete then travelled to Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district, where she was felicitated by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

The victory procession, with the bedecked vehicle blaring songs on ‘Haryana ki beti Sakshi Malik’ (Haryana’s daughter Sakshi Malik) made its way through villages and narrow roads lined up by scores of people. Sakshi waved to the crowds who danced, garlanded and took selfies with her. “My 12-year-long dream has been fulfilled. But I will work hard to change the colour of my medal at the next Olympics,” Sakshi said.

At her village Mokhra Khas in Rohtak, Sakshi was honoured by the village panchayat, Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, besides Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepinder Singh Hooda, and senior Opposition leader from the INLD, Abhay Singh Chautala.

Chief Minister Khattar also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for Sakshi’s two coaches and Rs 50 lakh for shuttler P V Sindhu from Hyderabad who won the silver at the Olympics.

Khattar said Sakshi, who is employed with the Indian Railways, has been promised a promotion by its employer. “We have also offered her a Class II job in the Haryana government. She has said she will think over it and decide,” he said.

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