Honour for Commonwealth Games medallists - Finally, Jauna Murmu gets recognition from state government

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By SHILPI SAMPAD
  • Published 4.05.11
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Bhubaneswar, May 3: For Jauna Murmu, it was the moment of vindication as she received the citation and the cheque of Rs 7 lakh from chief minister Naveen Patnaik at Jaydev Bhawan here today.

The lanky, tribal girl from Mayurbhanj, who was part of the 4x400 metre relay team that won the gold at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Delhi last October, had fought hard for the past six months to get her “due” from the state which had initially refused to recognise her achievement.

“I have finally got my due. I still cannot believe it. The feeling is yet to sink in,” said a misty-eyed Jauna, holding her trophy in a tight grip. For her, it was double bonanza as she also got a cash award of Rs 82,352 for her participation in the Asiad last year. She said she had a plan to spend a major part of the prize money on the development of her village, Badakundrum, which still awaits electricity and water supply connection.

The Telegraph had run two reports on Jauna whose name had not been included in the list of awardees earlier by the Orissa government.

It was apparently because of the confusion caused by the fact that she did not run in the finals though she was one of the six members that comprised the winning team and duly awarded a gold medal. Jauna who arrived in the capital city yesterday from Patiala said she would approach the sports minister for a state government job. “If I get a job here, I won’t have to go back to Patiala where I have been training as our state lacks the kind of facilities available there,” she said.

Jauna was among the 16 sportspersons felicitated for winning medals and participating in the CWG and the Asian Games last year.

While weightlifter K. Ravi Kumar, who had won the gold at the CWG, received the cheque for Rs 10 lakh, hockey star Prabodh Tirkey was awarded the citation and a cheque worth Rs 5 lakh for silver.

Promising athlete Srabani Nanda, the bronze medallist of the Commonwealth Games, received Rs 3 lakh.

Talking on the sidelines of the event, Prabodh, who was forced to represent Jharkhand at the national games in Ranchi this year because of the alleged apathetic attitude of the Orissa government, said he was keen to play for Orissa. Srabani, who found herself amid a controversy earlier this year when she had pulled out of the National Games midway because of attending a training camp in Australia, said she had already apologised to Orissa Olympic Association president Ashirbad Behera for the “mistake” and was now training hard for the 2012 London Olympics.

The others felicitated on the occasion were Pratima Puhan, Pramila Prava Minz, Subhadra Pradhan, Binita Toppo, Mukta Prava Barla, Rakesh Patra, Valena Valentina, Bikash Kumar Jena, Bhagyalaxmi Barik, Seema Dung Dung, M. Amusana Devi and Anuradha Biswal.