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Since 1st March, 1999
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UCIL plays pedal saviour

The New Year has wheeled in good news for Jharkhand’s only international cyclist.

Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), the public sector enterprise in Jadugoda, has given Lakhan Hansda an aid of Rs 1.5 lakh to buy a racing cycle.

“We have paid the amount to the agency from where Lakhan will get his cycle. He is a talented tribal boy, but needed support,” said Pinaki Roy, adviser (projects and corporate communications), UCIL.

Resident of Damodih village in Potka block, 24-year-old Lakhan was visibly overwhelmed and couldn’t stop saying how grateful he was. “UCIL ko bahut bahut dhanyavad. Khush hun ki ek nayi cycle ab mere paas hogi (I profusely thank UCIL. I am glad I will have a brand new cycle now),” he said.

He added that he had contacted a Mumbai-based agency for his new gear. “My racing cycle will reach me in a day or two. It will have to be assembled here though.”

Jharkhand Cycling Association secretary Satbir Singh Sahota thanked UCIL for its noble gesture. “At a time when the state is least concerned over the plight of cyclists, we are glad a public sector enterprise has extended Lakhan a helping hand,” he said.

Luck has smiled on the cyclist this second time.

Earlier, CII’s Jharkhand chapter had promised to sponsor Rs 50,000 for repair and maintenance of his cycle.

On December 4, Lakhan had met with an accident while practising in Damodih for the National Track Cycling Championship. Though he received minor injuries, his racing cycle was left with a distorted rear wheel.

With no financial hope from the state, the mishap slammed brakes on his career.

CII officials had met Lakhan after a report was published in The Telegraph and asked him to submit a proposal. It was supposed to hand over the cheque to Lakhan by December-end, but a CII functionary said the same would be done this month.