Indian men’s hockey team made the country proud when they defeated Germany in a historic Olympic Bronze medal match last week.
The team won praises from all around. The team’s goalkeeper, PR Sreejesh of Kerala also received applause for the skills he displayed during the match.
Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan issued a statement praising Sreejesh. However, the player is yet to receive a cash reward, unlike other Tokyo Olympic 2020 medallists. The state government’s delay in felicitating the Olympic medallist has drawn criticism. Especially after other state governments announced rewards for the players of their state.
For instance, the javelin thrower and gold medallist Neeraj Chopra received an award of six crore rupees from the Haryana government. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu got one crore rupees as a cash prize from the Manipur government. Men’s hockey team players Nilkanta Sharma and Vivek Sagar received one crore from the Madhya Pradesh government. Sreejesh is yet to be given that reward by his state.
Anju Bobby George on Kerala Government’s lack of cash reward:
While talking to Mathrubhumi TV, athlete Anju Bobby George confirmed the same. She said, “The allegation that Kerala government did not reward him is true. Many governments announced just when athletes won medals, even before they came back to the state. In this case, even after Sreejesh came back, the Kerala government has not announced a reward.”
She said that one should understand the value of an Olympic medal. Anju Bobby George who had won at IAAF World Athletic Final said that the Kerala government was reluctant on giving her cash prize when the Tamil Nadu government came through.
She said, “It is not tough to declare a Rs 1 crore award. The government can even collect it through sponsorships. But it is about the intent.”
The goalkeeper Sreejesh has received cash prizes from non-government parties. Dr Shamseer Vayalil of Dubai-based VPS Healthcare awarded him with a one crore rupees prize.
The athlete hails from Pallikkara of Ernakulam district in Kerala and is an employee of the state’s Department of General and Higher Education.
Former Olympian TC Yohannan also told the media that Sreejesh deserves better treatment as he made Kerala proud.
The goalkeeper along with his team landed in New Delhi on August 9. He is expected to reach Kochi on August 10 evening. As per reports, he will be received by state Sports Minister V Abdurahiman and other officials.
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