| Olympic bronze winning boxer M.C. Mary Kom dances during a programme held to welcome her in Imphal on Sunday. (PTI) |
Imphal, Aug. 19: Manipur Olympians were showered with cash incentives and job offers as well promotion for their achievements and their display of sportsmanship at the London Olympics.
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, along with his cabinet colleague, handed out cash incentives of Rs 75 lakh to boxer M.C. Mary Kom and Rs 20 lakh each to boxer L. Devendro Singh, weightlifter Ng. Sonia Chanu and archer L. Bombayla. Tracksuits and shawls were also given to them.
Later, seven coaches from boxing, archery and weightlifting were honoured on the occasion.
Except for boxer Mary Kom, who had been promoted to the post of superintendent of police in the state police department, L. Devendro Singh, L. Bombayla and Ng. Sonia Chanu are employed outside the state.
However, they are keen and willing to return to their native state if offered equivalent posts to what they are currently holding.
L. Devendro is currently an army havildar and is likely to be promoted to JCO (junior commissioned officer) while L. Bombayla is head TT in Eastern Railway and Ng. Sonia Chanu is inspector in UP police and has been assured of a DSP post by her adopted state.
All the four Olympians let their desires known after Ibobi Singh today reiterated the state government’s earlier announcement on job opportunities.
However, the chief minister expressed his agony and anguish over hockey player Kh. Kothajit Singh not being fielded despite being among the 18-member squad.
The state had anticipated a great performance from Kh. Kothajit but it was only later learnt that only 16 will be fielded while two will be in the reserve list.
Ibobi Singh later apologised for the confusion and concern caused to his family members and the public.
The chief minister said though the state sportspersons have done well in the Games, he expects gold medals in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
He asked coaches to work on better modalities on the gold quest and the state government is willing to work out the feasibility of hiring foreign coaches.
He hailed the Olympians as national assets.
The Olympians also spoke briefly on the occasion and Mary Kom even joined the cultural programme presented by the Kom Cultural Dance and Research Centre.
Earlier, Mary Kom and Devendro Singh were given a rousing welcome at the airport and later paraded in an open jeep while passing through different routes to loud cheers from the public.
Bombayla and Sonia Chanu had arrived in the state much earlier.