Govt names 45 athletes selected for assistance under TOP scheme
Led by Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, there are 17 shooters from among 45 athletes who have been selected by the government for financial assistance under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) programme.
The government on Tuesday released the names of all the athletes under six disciplines and the amount it will spend on their training for their preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The total amount would be 30.075 crore, of which Rs.96.80 lakh has been released so far.
Six shuttlers who have been named are London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, P Kashyap, K Srikanth, Guru Saidutt and H S Prannoy. According to a Sports Ministry release, doubles players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa have also requested for their inclusion in the scheme. The ministry hinted that their names could be included later. “There is provision for periodic review of performance of sportspersons, who reach the prescribed benchmark, for induction in the Scheme,” the release said.
Sports minister Sarbanada Sonowal has also signed a MoU with India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) which will contribute Rs.30 crore to the National Sports Development Fund for the TOP Scheme under government’s initiative for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). There are five athletes, who have been sanctioned an amount of Rs 1 crore and Rs.12.5 lakh. They are Vikas Gowda (athletics), Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput and Manavjit Singh Sandhu (shooting). Top wrestlers Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Amit Kumar will get Rs.75 lakh each while Bajrang, Rahul Aware, Vinesh Phogat and Babita Kumari will get Rs.45 lakh each.
Two sailors, Varsha Gautam and N Aishwarya, will also get Rs 45 lakh each. Four top boxers, MC Mary Kom (51kg), Vijender Singh (75kg), Sarita Devi (60kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg), will also get Rs.75 lakh each while Pinki Jangra (51kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Vikas Krishan (64kg) will get Rs.45 lakh each.