Government has plans to construct swimming complex and indoor halls at all the district headquarters from this fiscal as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today felicitated 42 sports personalities, youths, artists with the prestigious Biju Patnaik Awards.
"It has been planned to construct swimming complex and multi-purpose indoor halls at all the district headquarters from this financial year," Patnaik said before handing over Biju Patnaik Sports Awards, Biju Patnaik Bravery Awards and State Youth Awards here while celebrating the National Sports Day.
Stating that his government's priority was on the development of sports and youths, Patnaik said "Development of playgrounds in urban areas which are shrinking in the process of urbanisation is also in the focus of the state government."
Among the sports persons who received awards were Arjun Award winner Rachita Homyar Mistry (life time achievement in promotion of sports and games), Anuradha Biswal, Pratima Puhan, K Ravi Kumar, Minati Sethi, Debasis Das and others. While life time achievement awards carried cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh each, Puhan, Kumar Sethi and Das were given Rs 1 lakh each as cash prize.
Ashok Kumar Mishra, Gangadhar Behera and Jose Jacob were also given awards as the outstanding coaches.
Tapan Kumar Swain, Debasis Sundaray, Sarbeswar Mohanty and Umakanta Mishra were felicitated with outstanding sports journalists for the year 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Social activist Linkan Subudhi was conferred with Biju Patnaik Bravery Award for the year 2013-14 while Ganesh Chandra Jena, Devidutta Panda and Jogabyasa Bhoi were honoured for scaling Mount Everest and other highest continental peaks.
A total of 42 persons and Sahaya, a social service and national development organisation were honoured on the occasion.