India's first medallist at the ongoing Rio Olympics, wrestler Sakshi Malik will be rewarded with a cash award of Rs 60 lakh by her employers Indian Railways for her bronze winning feat in women's 58kg freestyle category.
The Railway Ministry had announced before the start of the Games that handsome cash awards of Rs 1 cr, Rs 75 lakh and Rs 50 lakh will be given to medal winners and a further Rs 10 lakh for qualifying.
"It was the proactive approach of president Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) Pradeep Kumar, who was instrumental in raising women's wrestling team and positive approach of the Ministry of Railways, who declared the awards not after Olympics as they usually do but prior so that there is an added motivation," RSPB secretary Rekha Yadav said.
"The Indian Railways is proud of both its wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat. Sakshi is currently a senior clerk with Northern Railways. She will be promoted to the rank of a gazetted officer," she added.
The Indian Railways are planning a grand felicitation for Sakshi to celebrate her stupendous feat.
The wrestling contingent will be back in India on August 23 and the felicitation will be held on a suitable date after that.
The Haryana government also on Thursday announced a reward of Rs 2.50 crore to Sakshi.
She will also be given a government job for her historic feat as provided in the sports policy of the state, an official spokesman said.
Sakshi ended the country's painful wait for a medal at the Rio Olympic Games by clinching the bronze in the 58 kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over her rival in the play-off bout.
The 23-year-old from Rohtak became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal as she earned the dramatic win after falling behind 0-5 in the do-or-die bout on day 12.
Meanwhile, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who created history by entering the vault final at the Rio Olympics before finishing fourth, and ace shooter Jitu Rai have been recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Khel Ratna Award by the selection panel appointed by the Sports Ministry.
Dipa got the nod of the 12-member committee, which met in Delhi on Thursday, on the basis of her stupendous performance in Rio although the deadline for sending in the recommendation to the Sports Ministry was already over.
Indian Test cricket captain Virat Kohli's name was also discussed but the likes of Dipa and Jitu were preferred since this is an Olympic year, the sources said.
Kohli also missed out because the government wants to keep a few slots open in case the likes of shuttler P V Sindhu, who has reached the semifinals in the Rio Games, wins a medal.
Rajiv Khel Ratna is given to the sportsperson who has produced spectacular and outstanding performance in the last four years and it carries a cash amount of Rs 7.5 lakh.
The Khel Ratna winner (s) will receive the award from President Pranab Mukherjee on National Sports Day on August 29.
Tennis star Sania Mirza is the last recipient of the award in 2015.