Odisha CM announces Rs 50 lakh cash award for hockey star Deep Grace Ekka

IANS Photo

Bhubaneswar, October 8 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced a cash award of Rs 50 lakh for hockey star Deep Grace Ekka, a member of Indian women’s hockey team that clinched bronze medal at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

The Chief Minister expressed his heartfelt congratulations to Ekka acknowledging her remarkable performance and calling her a role model for the youth of the state.

“Deep Grace Ekka has become a symbol of hope and pride for aspiring athletes in the country. Deep has proved her tenacity with some astounding performances and I am sure that she will continue to make India proud and showcase the spirit of perseverance and excellence that she has been displaying,” Patnaik said Sunday.

The 28-year-old hockey star who hails from Lulkidihi village in Sundargarh district, made her international debut in 2011 during the Four-Nation Tournament in Argentina. She has completed 250 International Caps.

She was part of the Indian team that took part in the Rio Olympic Games.

She was also an integral part of the team that won the Bronze Medal at the Women’s Asia Cup 2013, Gold at 2016 Asian Champions Trophy, Gold in the Asia Cup in 2017, Silver at the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018, Silver in 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang and the Bronze in Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The ace defender also played a key role in India’s Gold Medal win at the inaugural FIH Women’s Nations Cup in Spain in 2022.