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Bachendri: A great feeling

Amal Dutta, Bachendri Pal, Parimal Dey and Arnab Mondal, at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, on Friday

Calcutta: The East Bengal club conferred its highest honour of merit ‘Bharat Gaurav’ to Bachendri Pal in a glittering function to celebrate the 95th Foundation Day, here, at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, on Friday.

The club feted its former coach Amal Dutta and player Parimal Dey with lifetime achievement awards for their contribution to football.

Central defender Arnab Mondal, who played a prominent role in ensuring East Bengal the runners-up position in I-League, was awarded the Player of the Year.

The club also awarded former national referees Kalidas Mukherjee and Gopinath Pyne.

East Bengal’s cricket team, which won the four out of five titles last season, was also felicitated.

“It’s a great feeling. East Bengal is a football club and the club honouring someone who has nothing to do with the game is a great thing,” Bachendri, the first Indian woman mountaineer to scale Mount Everest, said.

While Bachendri got Rs 2 lakh, Dutta and Dey got Rs 1 lakh each and Arnab Rs 50,000.

The club also ventured into merchandising by launching the East Bengal shirt.

State ministers Madan Mitra and Gautam Deb were present, where Mitra announced that the state government has constituted a best talent award in the name of mountaineer Chanda Gayen.