Para shuttler Pramod Bhagat won the badminton gold in the SL3 event of the recently-concluded Tokyo Paralympics arrived here Friday amid a tumultuous welcome.
In the evening Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated Pramod Bhagat at the Kalinga Stadium here. Bhagat was handed a cheque of Rs 6 crore by Patnaik. He has also been offered a Group A level government job. The chief minister congratulated Bhagat for his extra-ordinary performance at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. 'It gives me immense pleasure to felicitate you on your outstanding achievement,' tPatnaik said. 'You triumph against all odds is a proud moment for the entire nation and will remain forever so. You have proved how important sports are in our lives. You have also redefined how sports can uplift and empower lives,' Patnaik added. Patnaik also said that Bhagat is an inspirational figure to many in the country. 'You have inspired a generation of sportspersons and para sportspersons to create their own destiny. I wish you all the very best for greater glories. We will continue to support you in your journey ahead,' Patnaik said. Bhagat on his part thanked the chief minister and expressed his gratitude for the support provided by the Odisha government. He said that without the support of the Odisha government, he wouldn't have been able to either become a World Champion or win the gold medal at Tokyo. Other dignitaries present during the felicitation ceremony were Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, shairman, Hockey Promotion Council, Dilip Tirkey, Secretary to Chief Minister, VK Pandian, Commissioner-cum- Secretary, Sports and Youth Services Department, R Vineel Krishna and sportspersons of various disciplines.