Vandana Kataria, Uttarakhand’s new Brand Ambassador for Women and Child Development

Hockey player Vandana Kataria is to be made the brand ambassador for Women and Child Development. She was appointed by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami himself. Adding to all of this, she was also made the brand ambassador of the central government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme. This was also for the district of Haridwar.

Vandana is a hockey player for the Indian national hockey team. She was the first woman to score an Olympic hat-trick in hockey in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo. She was born on 15th April 1992. Her hometown was Roshnabad in district Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand). She is one of the most improved players upfronts for India since 2016. After India lost to Argentina in the semifinals in the Tokyo Olympics 2021, her family faced certain criticism. Certain upper-class men hurled insults at Kataria’s family saying that India lost the semifinals because it had too many Dalit players on the team. An FIR was filed against the accused. But she never paid heed to these petty matters. She was meant for greater things.

The announcement that she was the new brand ambassador for Women and Child Development in Uttarakhand was made at a program. This program was organized to honor the receivers of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award. This entire program and ceremony were held at the IRDT Auditorium at Survey Chowk on 8th August, Sunday. Here, Kataria was awarded the Tilu Rauteli award, the state’s highest honor for a woman.

The Sports Minister of Uttarakhand, Arvind Pandey went to visit the Hockey player’s house in Haridwar district’s Roshnabad village and wished her all the best for her upcoming future. He presented them with bouquets and shawls in order to honor their daughter’s achievement. He also presented a cheque to her mother Sauran Kataria who said, “It’s a proud moment for the family.” Earlier, the Chief Minister had announced a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakhs to Vandana Kataria for her brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics. He also clearly stated that the prize money for the aforementioned recognitions will be doubled from Rs.31,000 to Rs.51,000 from the next year.

“Vandana is a role model for today’s youth, and everyone should learn from her. Players will soon come from all around Uttarakhand, inspired by her,” said Sports Minister Arvind Pandey. He added, “The Uttarakhand government has enacted a sports policy under which government jobs are earmarked for athletes who win medals at the international and national levels. Separate funds are also being arranged for training the player.”

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “We are proud that Uttarakhand’s daughter Vandana Kataria made an unforgettable contribution to India’s great performance in women’s hockey at the Tokyo Olympics. In recognition of this, she would be given a cash reward of 25 lakhs.”

Thus all ended well for Kataria.

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