Sindhu, Dipa return to rousing reception
Shuttler PV Sindhu and gymnast Dipa Karmakar were given a rapturous reception on Monday by the common people as well as their state governments after they came back from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where they made India proud by their stellar performances.
Locals in Hyderabad came on the streets to welcome home Sindhu, who became the first Indian woman to bag a silver, and Karmakar, the first Indian to qualify for Olympics after 52 years, was driven in an open jeep from the airport to a large public ground.
Sindhu, along with her coach Pullela Gopichand, landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on the outskirts at around 9.20am.
Telangana deputy chief minister Mahmood Ali and ministers KT Rama Rao and Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, mayor B Rammohan, Greater Hyderabad municipal commissioner Janardhan Reddy and collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts were at the airport to receive them.
Hundreds of sports lovers and school children, who lined up on both sides of the road leading to the airport, cheered her as she came out of the arrival lounge. A large number of cultural troupes brought in by the department of culture of the Telangana government danced and played drums to welcome the star shuttler.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation team burst crackers to celebrate her grand arrival.
Wearing a grey blazer and sporting the Olympic silver medal in her neck, 21-year-old Sindhu along with Gopichand and her parents PV Ramana and Vijaya, boarded Nilambari, an open deck double-decker Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus that was decorated with flowers and national tricolour.
The Telangana government announced a Rs 5 crore cash reward for the 21-year-old, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy and a suitable government job if she is willing. It also announced a cash prize of Rs 1 crore for Sindhu’s coach Gopichand.
Andhra government too has offered Sindhu a job and will give her a cash reward of Rs 3 crore and a residential plot in Amravati, its new upcoming capital city.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Agartala where hundreds of fans, officials, followers, admirers and well-wishers received Dipa and her coach Bisheshwar Nandi at the airport. A motorcade of hundreds of vehicles and two-wheelers took to the street in Tripura’s capital before a huge reception ceremony was held to honour the pride of their state.
“I will try extremely hard to get gold medals in the forthcoming Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I shall try to deliver my best in future,” Karmakar said.