Sakshi Malik returned to New Delhi on Wedneday morning amid much fanfare, after setting a milestone in Olympics 2016 -- becoming the first woman wrestler ever from the country to win a bronze in the sporting event. She was accorded a grand welcome in her hometown in Haryana as well and bestowed upon with a lot of gifts.
Like PV Sindhu, the first-ever woman silver medallist from India in the Olympics, who received a lot of gifts from several quarters, Sakshi, too, received her share of accolades from one and all. While praises poured in aplenty for the 58 kg freestyle wrestler, there were also several cash prizes awarded to the athlete as well as other perks.
Sakshi, 23, who hails from the Mokhra village near Rohtak, always wanted to get into an airplane and her wish was fulfilled when India's premier airliner, Air India, announced that they are offering the wrestler two business-class return tickets for her and any of her chosen companions to any destination across the globe in the airline. The tickets are valid for the next one year.
Haryana's sports and youth affairs minister Anil Vij, who was present in Rio as head of state delegation, accompanied the wrestler on the return flight from Brazil.
After reaching Haryana, she met chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, along with senior cabinet ministers Abhimanyu and OP Dhankar. They all offered her several awards, including cash prizes and promotion.
Sakshi was also honoured with a traditional 'pagri' at Bahadurgarh.
"I want everyone to support me in the future as well so that I can win more medals for my country," the bronze medallist said at the event in Haryana. "Now we have added Beti Khilao (encourage girls to take up sports) to this," she added, making a reference to the Indian government's 'Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao' scheme.
Here is a list of the gifts she has been offered for her performances in Rio 2016:
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Rs 2.5 crore: By Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Appointed Haryana's brand ambassador for 'Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao'.
Class II job in the Haryana government.
Rs 5 lakh: International Fitness Festival.
Rs 60 lakh: Indian Railways.
Maharajas' Express train ride by IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation).
Indian railways promotion.
Rs 1 crore: Delhi government.
A traditional 'pagri' at Bahadurgarh.
Two business-class return tickets by Air India.