Ace hockey player Birendra Lakra who hung up his boots after the Tokyo Olympics was in for a pleasant surprise when he received a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 31-year-old Birendra Lakra, a defender, was part of India's bronze medal-winning side in the Tokyo Olympics.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik provides cash awards of Rs 2.5 crore each to Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas, and of Rs 50 lakh each to Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo.
Birendra Lakra, the vice-captain of the men’s team, and Deep Grace Ekka, the vice-captain of the women’s team, presented team jerseys with signatures of all the team members to the Chief Minister
Over the past three decades, Sundargarh has produced 64 junior and senior hockey players including six male Olympians but only Amit was witness to history being made at Tokyo.
Veteran mid-fielder Sardar Singh was dropped from India's 18-member squad for next month's Hockey World League Final.