PM keeps his promise to Sindhu; treats Neeraj Chopra to ‘churma’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept a promise: he had ice cream with badminton Olympic bronze medalist PV Sindhu. Before the Indian Olympic contingent left for Tokyo, the PM had, while advising the players to focus on their games and not carry any pressure, given his word to the ace badminton player that he would treat her with ice cream once she was back home.
The PM also treated Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra to ‘churma’ – a delicacy made by mashing up wheat flour chapatti in pure ghee and jaggery granules – a traditional Haryanvi dish.
The PM hosted the Indian athletes at his residence on August 16 and made it a memorable day for Sindhu. Modi praised all the athletes for their best-ever show at the Olympics earlier this month and had a personal meet-and-greet session with them.
Back in July when the PM had a video interaction with many Tokyo-bound Indian athletes, he had spoken about how Sindhu was barred from having ice cream before the Rio Olympics and whether she was doing the same this time around.
“Work hard and I am confident that you will be successful once again. And when you all come back from the Olympics, I will have ice cream with you,” Modi had said.
Well, that did come true as PV Sindhu became only the second Indian athlete and the first woman from the country to win two individual medals at the Olympics. She won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics to add to her silver medal show at the Rio Games five years ago. Apart from that, she is only the fourth woman shuttler to win back-to-back singles Olympic medals. Sindhu also has five World Championships medals to her name.
PM Modi also met other Indian athletes and greeted them. He also had a personal session with the gold medalist Neeraj Chopra. Neeraj had expressed his love for ‘churma’ and the PM bonded over the dish with the history-maker.
The men’s hockey team, who won bronze at the Tokyo Games to end the country’s 41-year wait for an Olympic medal, presented PM Modi with an autographed hockey stick.
On Independence Day, Modi, along with those present at the Red Fort, gave an ovation to the contingent who participated in the recently held Olympic Games at Tokyo.
“There was a time when sport wasn’t considered a part of the mainstream. Parents used to tell children that they would spoil their life if they kept playing. Now, awareness regarding sports and fitness has come within the country. We have experienced this in Olympics this time,” PM Modi said in his Red Fort speech marking the 75th year of the country’s independence.
Making it a point to draw the nation’s attention to the Olympians present in the audience, the Prime Minister said: “The athletes who have made us proud at the Tokyo Olympics are here among us today. I urge the nation to applaud their achievements. They have not only won our hearts but also inspired future generations.”
Perhaps for the first time during the Prime Minister’s customary address to the nation, the sporting community was so heavily represented. As many as 240 Olympians, including gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, their support staff, and officials of the Sports Authority of India and sports federation were present to listen to the Prime Minister, News 18 reported.