Newdelhi:30/8/19:Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry felicitated National Award winning Railway Sportspersons in New Delhi today. Shri Piyush Goyal felicitated Shri Bajrang Punia by giving a cheque of Rs 7.5 Lakhs and a Shawl, Shri S. Baskaran, Ms. Sonia Lather, Shri Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Ms. Poonam Yadav, Shri Nitten Kirrtane by giving a cheque of Rs 5 Lakhs each and a Shawl for their outstanding contribution in the field of sports. Shri Bajrang Punia has been awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award of 2019 and Shri S. Bhaskaran, Ms. Sonia Lather, Ms. Poonam Yadav, Shri Chinglensana Singh Kangujam are awarded Arjuna Awards. Shri Nitten Kirrtane has been awarded with Dhyanchand Award.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal expressed his happiness on the accomplishments of these sportspersons and for making the Nation, Indian Railways proud by their performances in their sport field. He wished them luck for their future tournaments. He also assured the sportspersons of Railways continued support in their journey. Inspired by ‘Fit India Campaign’ launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Goyal advised that Indian Railways should start ‘Fit Railway, Fit India’ campaign where all the employees should participate in fitness activities. He also advised that gymnasiums/fitness centres should be opened in Railway premises to benefit Railway employees and their wards as well as common people.
Indian Railways has a long tradition of having renowned sportspersons on its rolls. So far, 23 Padmashree, 166 Arjuna, 11 Dhyanchand, 9 Dronacharya and 6 Rajiv Gandhi khel Ratna Awards have been conferred on Indian Railway sportspersons. Continuing this glorious legacy, this year too, six Sport persons won awards. Indian Railways’ Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) is proud to be the mentor of these eminent achievers in the field of sports as under:
Bajrang Punia (wrestling)– He has been awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. He is also a recipient of Arjuna award and the Padma Shri. Bajrang has won Asian Championship gold and bronze, a Commonwealth Games Gold, an Asian Games Gold and also World Championship Medals in wrestling.
S. Baskaran (Body Building)– He has been awarded with Arjuna award. He won Gold medals in the World Body Building Championship 2018 in Thailand and Asian Body Building Championship 2018 in India. He was awarded with title of Mr. India three times with Gold medal and also won silver medal.
Sonia Lather (Boxing) – She has been awarded with Arjuna award. She represented India in Asian Games 2018. Having two Asian Championship medals to her name, Ms Lather became National Champion twice in Senior National Boxing Championships in 2017 & 2018 in feather weight representing Indian Railways.
Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Hockey) – He has been awarded with Arjuna award. He represented India in Commonwealth Games 2014 in which Indian Hockey team won Silver medal, Asian Games 2014 in which Indian Hockey team won Gold medal, Asian Games 2018 in which he was a member of Bronze medal winning Indian Hockey team.
Poonam Yadav (Cricket) – She has been awarded with Arjuna award. Ms Yadav was part of the Indian Team who reached the final of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup. In June 2018, she was one of the top five in T-20 rankings. She became India’s highest wicket taker in Twenty- Twenty International in September 2018 with 57 wickets from 39 T-20s matches.
Nitten Kirrtane (Tennis) – He has been awarded with Dhyanchand Award. He has made exemplary contributions to the Indian Tennis in his illustrious career spanning over four decades. He brought 9 International Medals to India during his playing career. He was the coach of the Gold Medal winning Indian Railways Tennis team recently held World Railway Championship in Bulgaria.