Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has come forward to support ace Indian fencer CA Bhavani Devi who won bronze medal at the 18th Flemish Open fencing Championships in Belgium in 2015. Jayalalithaa has granted state-sponsored Scholarship Scheme for Elite Sports Persons to the fencing champion to encourage her win more medals at prestigious sporting events worldwide.
Last October, Jayalalithaaa offered financial assistance of Rs. 3 Lakh to Bhavani Devi for the latter’s proper training in the US. And when she won the bronze medal at the fencing championship in Ghent, Belgium, Bhavani was granted Rs two-lakh reward for her hard work and dedication by the Tamil Nadu government.
The Chief Minister has also recognised the contribution of R Rithik, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Chennai, who recently won gold in the national 10-meter Open Site Air Rifle Under-17 event organised by the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) in Madhya Pradesh. AIDMK supremo was quoted as saying in the official press release, ‘I am elated at the news of Rithik’s feat. I congratulate him and wish that he wins more medals and bring laurels to the country and Tamil Nadu.’ The Chief Minister has also announced Rs. 4 lakh financial reward to this Chennai boy.
Bhavani belongs to a humble middle-class family with his father a priest and mother a homemaker. She missed quite a few sporting events due to paucity of funds. Her ranking has dropped from 64 to 112 since she couldn’t participate in as many contests as held in the past few months outside India. “Fencing is an expensive sport where the protective gear and the sword could cost over a lakh. If there is a small tear in the gear, you have to get it replaced or else you stand disqualified from an event,” Bhavani stated to media in her recent interaction.
The 22-year-old fencer admitted that fencing has remained her passion since schooling days. With just 8 months to go before the Rio Olympics, Bhavani is trying very hard to win the Olympic Qualification championship scheduled to be held in April this year in China. If she qualifies and wins a medal at Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro then certainly it would be the proudest moment for every Indian. Yes, she would become first ever Indian Olympic Medallist in fencing category. Herewith, wishing the ever bubbly and spirited athlete all the best and very best of luck