Vijayawada: Even before Telangana, the home state of India’s badminton star P. V. Sindhu, could announce a reward for her winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday announced a big bonanza including a Rs 3 crore cash prize.
Describing Sindhu as the pride of Andhra, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also announced a 1,000 square yard house-site in Amaravati, the upcoming state capital near here and a Group I officer’s post in the government.
This has given a new twist to the attempts by both Telugu states to claim credit for Sindhu’s success.
“Sindhu has created history. We thought she would win the gold. She went down fighting and the entire country is proud of her after witnessing her fighting spirit. She is the pride of Andhra and we have decided to honour her on the victory,” he said.
Naidu also announced a Rs 50 lakh cash award to Sindhu’s coach and former All England champion Pullela Gopichand.
Naidu recalled that he as the chief minister of then united Andhra Pradesh had allotted him five acres of land in Hyderabad to set up a coaching academy and produce players like himself.
“He has done it. That’s what I was saying all along — if good infrastructure is created and with proper training, our children can win. Sindhu is an example of this,” Naidu said.
“When it was pointed out that neighbouring Telangana state was also taking credit for Sindhu’s victory, Naidu said there was nothing wrong if the states were different,” said a statement from the chief minister’s office.
The Telangana government is yet to announce a prize for Sindhu but as per the sports policy announced early this year, an Olympic silver medallist is entitled to a cash prize of Rs 1 crore.
Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are claiming Sindhu as their ‘ammayi’ (girl). The 21-year-old was born in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad, now a part of Telangana.
However, Sindhu’s fans in Andhra Pradesh claim that she has Andhra roots as her forefathers hail from Andhra.
Sindhu’s parents P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya on Friday offered prayers to the family deity at Ratnalammakunta, a remote village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. They prayed for their daughter’s victory in the final.
Ramana’s forefathers are said to be from West Godavari district. He later migrated to Hyderabad for his volleyball career and married Vijaya, also a volleyball player hailing from Vijayawada.