Bengal gives Rs.500,000 to athlete Sushmita Singha Roy

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 03, 2011 14:50 hrs

Kolkata, June 3 (IANS) The West Bengal government Friday granted Rs.500,000 to star athlete Susmita Singha Roy to ensure that she does not migrate to another state for better opportunities ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

'Susmita had expressed a wish to leave Bengal and settle in Jharkhand, hoping to get better opportunities. Hearing the news we called Sushmita and her coach at Writers' Buildings (state secretariat) and persuaded her to change her mind. She has assured that she will not leave Bengal,' said Sports Minister Madan Mitra.

Susmita, a Beijing Olympian and national heptathlon champion, had expressed a desire to shift base to Jharkhand to prepare herself for the London Olympics.

'Heptathlon is a traditional event. It is costly. The previous (Left Front) government did nothing to ensure she continued in her pet event. They did not even give her an assurance. I have spoken to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she asked me to go all out to help Susmita, so that she doesn't have to leave Bengal,' said Mitra.

Mitra said other athletes who have migrated to other states would also be persuaded to return to West Bengal.

'We have already communicated to Mukul Roy (minister of state for shipping and railways) to take Susmita's responsibility so that she can participate in all the events.

'She is a railway employee and Roy has assured us that they will make necessary arrangements. At the same time, we are planning to do whatever we can for her,' said Mitra.

In the Guangzhou Asian Games last year, Susmita had finished fourth.

A seemingly elated Susmita also assured that she will not leave the state.