Bhubaneswar: Badminton player and doubles specialist Rutaparna Panda has been chosen as the recipient of the 29th Ekalabya award for the year 2021. The jury members while announcing the decision to honour Rutaparna also informed that two other Odia sportspersons will be felicitated for the contribution to the state and India in their respective disciplines. They are cyclist Swasti Singh and woman footballer Pyari Xaxa.
Rutuparna will be presented with a cash award of Rs 5,00,000 and a citation at a ceremony which will be conducted following Covid-19 protocols. The date of the function will be announced later. Pyari and Swasti on the other hand will be presented with cash awards of Rs 50,000 each and citations. It should be stated here that Pyari is a regular member of the Indian senior team and has scored goals for the country on a number of occasions.
The 22-year-old Rutaparna was a part of the Indian team that took part in the 2018 Asian Games. Since then she has blossomed as a player and has emerged as one of the top women’s doubles player in India. She has won a number of international doubles and mixed doubles events. Among the tournaments where she has been successful is the 2019 Ghana International badminton event where she won the women’s and mixed doubles titles in 2019. Currently she trains in Hyderabad.
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