Sports university in state: Mamata
Kolkata: The state government will give Rs 50 lakh each to East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting Clubs for the development of their infrastructure, and will also set up a sports university, announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday.
She also inaugurated the Raja Suresh Chandra Memorial Archive and museum at East Bengal Club, the only of its kind in Kolkata maidan. Addressing a gathering at the event, the Chief Minister also announced that the state government will set up a sports university where students will be able to learn various aspects of sports.
Mayor Firhad Hakim, Sports minister Aroop Biswas, state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Basu and Minister of State for Sports Manoj Tiwari were also present at the function.
The East Bengal Club will set up a library for which the state government is providing financial assistance. It may be mentioned that the state government had earlier given Rs 50 lakh to Mohun Bagan Athletic Club to develop its infrastructure.
Banerjee recalled the tough time faced by the refugees who had come to Bengal from East Pakistan after Independence. "They faced odds, they faced a new environment but finally they came out victorious. I respect those who fight till the end and never give up. The state government has given 'patta' to the residents of the refugee colonies," she said adding: "Mohun Bagan had fought against the British and East Bengal had fought for survival after Independence. East Bengal's supporters, who had lost everything (referring to the Partition where lakhs came to Bengal from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) identified themselves with the club and I salute them."
Banerjee handed over portraits to Subhas Bhowmick's son Arjun and Surajit Sengupta's spouse. She handed over footballs to eight budding players (four girls and four boys) who play for the junior East Bengal team. She handed over footballs to coaches Stephen Constantine and V George.
She recalled as a young girl she used to play marbles, lattu (tops) and kabaddi and used to swim along the Adi Ganga.
"I bounce a football every day to keep myself fit. The CPI(M) workers had beaten me up and surgeries had to be conducted on my arms and legs. But I have not given up. I love to play and so I have given the slogan 'Khela Hobe'," Banerjee remarked.