In a unique gesture, the Delhi Golf club on Tuesday announced cash awards of a total of Rs 50 lakhs for all medal winners from the 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics.
According to Rajesh Dhingra, President of the DGC, the Club has not made any distinction between the able bodied athletes and those in the Paralympics, and will give the same prize to both.
The difference in amount is based on the medals. The prizes are Rs 10 lakhs for gold, Rs 7.5 lakhs for silver and Rs 5 lakhs for bronze.
The awardees are: Devendra Jhajharia, Paralympics Gold Medalist in Javelin gets Rs 10 lakhs, Thangavelu Mariyappan, Paralympics Gold Medalist in High Jump gets Rs 10 lakhs, PV Sindhu, Olympics Silver Medalist in Badminton gets Rs 7.5 lakhs, Deepa Malik, Paralympics Silver Medalist in Shot Put gets 7.5 lakhs, Varun Bhati, Paralympics Bronze Medalist in High Jump gets Rs 5 lakhs, and Sakshi Malik, Olympics Bronze Medalist in Wrestling gets Rs 5 lakhs.
Delhi Golf Club is an exclusive golf facility but its President Rajesh Dhingra said he believes that achievements at the biggest sports arena in the world, need to be recognized and rewarded by as many corporate houses, individuals and sports bodies as possible.
Dhingra, a former Secretary of the Sports Authority of India, said: "I hope that when India's golfers perform at the highest level then they too will get felicitated by other organizations. This will help raise the profile of sports people all over the country."
In addition, the Delhi Golf Club has also announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakhs for Pullela Gopichand's Badminton academy in Hyderabad.
Sindhu thanked the Delhi Golf Club saying "every award is special for me and further motivates me to win for my country."
Gopichand said: "I am pleasantly surprised to receive a contribution from a golf club and I hope to reciprocate by welcoming any of our national golfers to my academy for training if it helps them."
Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal also thanked the DGC. "This is a perfect example of the Amul tag line of Para athletes being on 'Para' with the able bodied ones. Cash prizes of the same value for both are a welcome gesture."
The Delhi Golf Club hopes to invite all the Rio winners to the club for a felicitation and to try their hand at golf.
The club has a rich history of supporting the game, especially caddy turned golfers like two-time Indian Open champion Ali Sher who was made an honorary member.
Asian Games Gold Medalist and Arjuna Awardee Shiv Kapur is another famous name from the golf club. More recently the DGC had provided playing and coaching facilities to Shubham Jaglan who is a world junior champion.