Bhubaneswar: As the country is celebrating the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand as National Sports Day, the Sports and Youth Services Affairs Department of Odisha conferred the Biju Patnaik Sports Award at Jaydev Bhawan today.
Coach Panchanana Gantayat was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement award while Dutee Chand and Sanhita Das were awarded as the Best Sportsman and Best Trainer award respectively.
Sports Trainer and founder of Utkal Karate School in Bhubaneswar Dr. Hariprasad Pattnayak was awarded for his Best Contribution in Promotion of Sports and Games in the state.
Journalists Ashok Kumar Panda and Rajanikanta Satrusalya were awarded for their contribution towards sports journalism in Odisha.
Harischandra Hiaal and Mohan Garada, residents of Narayanpatna block in Koraput, were given the Biju Patnaik Bravery Award for rescuing five children during a flash flood last year.
Six sportsperson with disability were given cash prizes in the Outstanding Sportspersons category. Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Jayanti Behera (Para Atheletics), Rajesh Meher (Special Olympics), Jafar Iqbal and Sukhram Majhi (Blind Cricket) were the awardees.
Dipsan Tirkey, G.Narahari, Bonita Lakra and Bignaraj Miridia were also awarded in the same category.
The State Award for Social Service was also conferred on social activist Meera Parida, Dinesh Kumar Mallick, Manoj Kumar Dani, Jhasaketan Ranaj, Gracy Mol Singh and Chinmaya Kumar Bebarta.
This is the highest award instituted by the state government since 2001-2002 to recognise the contribution made in the field of sports in Odisha.