New Delhi: The Indian medals winners in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games were today felicitated by the government in the presence of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar for their impressive show in the multi-sport event at a star-studded function here.
India had won 64 medals (15, 30, 19) in the July 23 to August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Sports Ministry felicitated them by presenting a momento and prize money cheque at a function at Vigyan Bhawan here.
The complete Indian contingent of 231, including the athletes, coaches and support staff were invited to attend the function.
The medal winners received Rs 20 lakh (for gold winners), Rs 10 lakh (for silver winners) and Rs 6 lakh (for bronze winners). Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Tendulkar gave away the memento and the prize-money to the athletes.
Most of the medal winners, including the likes of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Gagan Narang and Vijender Singh, were among those who turned up to receive the awards.
Star shooter Abhinav Bindra, who won gold in Glasgow in men`s 10m air rifle event, and United States-based Vikas Gowda, who won a gold in men`s discus throw, were the prominent athletes who missed the felicitation function.
Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju, BJP Members of Parliament Rajyavardhan Rathore and Anurag Thakur were also present on the occasion.
Sonowal congratulated the assembled athletes for the impressive show in Glasgow.
"The Glasgow Commonwealth Games provided a stiff competition to the Indian athletes. In spite of the stiff competition, the Indian contingent came up with flying colours," he said.
Comparing the performance of Indian athletes in Glasgow with that in 2010 Delhi Games, the minister said, "We won 101 medals by 407 athletes in 2010 while 64 medals were won by 222 athletes in Glasgow.
"So, in 2010 Delhi Games, one medal was won for every 4.02 athletes while this time in Glasgow, one medal was won for every 3.46 athletes. This only proves that India has made phenomenal progress over the past few years."
Sonowal praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocating more money in sports in the general budget.
"These glorious achievements have come at a time when Narendra Modi has taken over as the Prime Minister of our country. Himself an avid sports lover, he has taken the initiative to almost double the sports budget," he said.
"The finance minister in his budget speech has allotted Rs 200 crores for setting up of a Sports University in Manipur, Rs 100 crores for setting up of sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir and Rs 100 crore for training elite athletes by SAI. This shows the importance which the new government attaches to sports," he added.
On the presence of Tendulkar in the felicitation function, Sonowal said, "We feel deeply honoured and are also fortunate to have Sachin Tendulkar here with me on the dais. We have other illustrious sportspersons who did India proud.
"Some of you have won medals and some of you have lost it narrowly. I know that you have undergone years of training to bring India glory. I know that many SAI coaches have toiled so hard to bring out the best in you. Success will come only when you are passionate about it."
"Whether you are a gymnast or a sprinter, or a boxer or a wrestler, you should never rest till you achieve success. If you follow this, I am confident that all the silver medallists will become gold medallists and all the bronze medallist will become silver medallists. Just imagine, if this happens, we will be the top sporting power in the world. This is what I want you to achieve."