Saturday, October 16, 2010

Haryana medal winners to get a car each

GURGAON: After announcing large cash rewards for Commonwealth Games medal winners, the Haryana government has convinced the Gurgaon-based Maruti-Suzuki, the biggest manufacturer of passenger cars in the country, to gift one Maruti car to each of the medal winners.

Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said on Saturday that he took up the matter with the Maruti-Suzuki management in Japan and that they agreed to his proposal. He said that happened because of the long association Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) has had with Haryana since 1984. The cars will be gifted in addition to the cash rewards of Rs 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 7 lakh already announced by the state government for all gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively.

A government spokesperson said all 15 CWG gold medalists from Haryana and two other gold medal winning players, Saina Nehwal (badminton) and Sushil Kumar (wrestling), who have close connections with Haryana, would get Maruti SX-4 cars. Similarly, seven silver medalists would get a Maruti Dzire each and eight bronze medalists from the state would be gifted WagonR cars. The keys of the new cars will be handed over to the players by Hooda at a state function on Haryana Day on November 1 at Sonepat.

\"All the credit for winning the medals goes to the players. Only by encouraging them in every possible manner can we promote sports in the country. We are proud of all the athletes who have won medals for the country,\" Hooda told TOI.

The Haryana government has also already announced cash rewards for the coaches of the medal winners; Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively will go to the coaches whose charges won gold, silver and bronze medals. As many as 52 players from Haryana had represented the country in the just-concluded Games.

\"Whatever we give them is too little. But there is a connect between medal winners from Haryana getting a Maruti car each and winning medals for the country. Like Maruti has put Haryana on the global map, our players have left their imprint on the Games. Since the CM took it up, the Maruti Udyog Limited management agreed,\" said the CM\'s media advisor Shiv Bhatia.

Haryana athletes had won 30 medals at the Games.

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