Uttarakhand CM Announces 25 Lakh Cash Reward For Hockey Star Vandana Katariya

The chief minister praised Katariya's stellar performance and said that the whole country is "proud" of Uttarakhand's daughter.

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Vandana Katariya gets cash reward for Olympics performance: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh to hockey star Vandana Katariya, appreciating her efforts and contribution to India's performance at the Tokyo Olympics this year. Vandana is the first Indian hockey player to score an Olympic hat-trick. She achieved this feat against  South Africa which eventually helped the Rani Rampal-led team to book a berth in the quarter-finals.

The chief minister praised Katariya's stellar performance and said that the whole country is "proud" of Uttarakhand's daughter. India lost to Britain 3-4 in a hard-fought bronze medal playoff match on Friday. Katariya scored one of India’s three goals. Further adding that the 26-year-old's performance was one of the highlights of the hockey team’s dream run at the Tokyo Olympics, Dhami said that in recognition of this, she would be rewarded a cash reward of 25 lakh rupees.

Overall, 2020 Tokyo outing was Team India's best-ever showing at the Olympics yet. Indian forward Katariya has played for the women's hockey senior national team in more than 200 international matches so far. However, recently, her family in Haridwar was subjected to casteist slurs earlier this week after losing to Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday. Her family alleged that a group of youths in their locality in Haridwar burst crackers, danced in celebration and passed casteist remarks. More here.

A day after the incident, two men were arrested from the Roshnabad area of Haridwar. Sharing her views on the incident, Katariya said that she plays for the country and attacking her personally on the basis of caste should not happen. The road to Tokyo was challenging enough for the young hockey athlete as when she was growing up, many in the neighborhood didn’t want her to play hockey. However, her late father, Nahar Singh, supported her dream. Three months ago, when her father died, she was training for the Olympics and couldn’t attend his funeral as she was confined to a bio-bubble in Bengaluru. More details here.

Despite all these struggles, she emerged as one of India’s star players in Tokyo. On being abused, Katariya said in a statement that she wished an end to casteist slurs. “Hum log country ke liye khel rahe hai, ‘caste-ing baazi’ jo maine thoda sa suna tha, woh sab na ho. (We are playing for the country, the casteist remarks, whatever I’ve heard about it, don’t do that.)

Feature Image Credit: Vandana Katariya/Instagram

Women Athletes Indian women's hockey team 2020 Tokyo Olympics Vandana Katariya