As part of the public sector company’s CSR initiative, 10 young athletes were identified for an annual scholarship of Rs. 2 lakh each

The AP Mineral Development Corporation, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, has decided to earmark Rs. 20 lakh annually to take care of the basic needs of young achievers in sports.

This was announced at an event here on Saturday, the first such function of the government-sponsored ‘Kreeda Jyothi’ scheme.

APMDC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Kumar Meena, a former SAAP official himself, revealed that 10 young athletes were identified for an annual scholarship of Rs. 2 lakh each.

“This is part of our CSR initiative. When I was at SAAP, my predecessors and I found it extremely difficult to get a positive response from corporate groups to take up sports promotion. So, as soon as I took charge of APMDC, I thought why not take the lead myself,” Mr. Meena remarked, amidst applause.

London Olympics bronze medallist and shooter Gagan Narang, who was present on the occasion, welcomed the initiative and said more corporate groups should come forward to support sports.

“Unless, there is some kind of massive interest in sports by corporates, it is not easy to groom talent. I appreciate the APMDC and SAAP for joining hands for such a fine programme,” he said.

Triple Olympian and hockey player N. Mukesh Kumar said the onus was now on the athletes to focus more on training and performance as there many initiatives from the government and better prospects, unlike during his early days in the sport. SAAP Vice-Chairman and Managing Director T. R. K. Rao appreciated APMDC for the “wonderful gesture” and hoped it would be the beginning of a new chapter in promoting sports.

Those chosen for the scholarship include Jyothi Surekha, Sunkari Lavanya (both archery), Nikhat Zareen, S. Marathamma (both boxing), Bodda Pratyusha, M. R. Lalith Babu (both chess), Zainab Ali Sajjad (tennis), Vishhwatha Singh (fencing), Syeda Falak (karate) and M. Santoshi (weightlifting).

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