Grand Salute: Indian women athletes who gave back to Society and set a great example

When PV Sindhu decided to give something back to society:

In what was a classy gesture from the Star shuttler P V Sindhu, she came forward to donate Rs 25 lakh prize money that she won in a popular TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) for the cause of fighting against cancer.

“Padma Shri P V Sindhu, Olympic silver medalist, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna awardee has donated Rs 25 lakh prize money won in popular quiz program ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ hosted by Amitabh Bachchan,” a release said.


Sindhu stole the spotlight when she handed over a cheque of Rs 25 lakh to the famous Telugu actor and chairman of Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, N Balakrishna who is the son of legendary actor and TDP founder N T Rama Rao, the release issued by the hospital told in a statement.

The veteran actor Balakrishna appreciated Sindhu’s decision to donate the money and added that it would inspire others to join hands to fight against cancer, the release said.

After donating the money to the cancer hospital, PV Sindhu took to her official Twitter handle to write, “Happy to donate 25 lakhs to basavatarakam indo-American cancer hospital??.”

Assam Floods: India’s sprinter Hima Das donates half of her salary

India’s ace sprinter Hima Das, who is a native of the northeast state of Assam, has come forward to donate half of her monthly salary in the crisis for relief efforts. The situation in Assam is indeed heartbreaking.

An official of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority mentioned that 4,175 villages with 46.28 lakh people have been badly affected due to the flash floods as of Monday afternoon, close to 90,000 hectare of agricultural land is flooded.

Credits: Orissa Post

Reports claim that more than 45 lakh people have been affected in 4,620 villages, with 1,01,085 people taking shelter in 226 relief camps. As many as 562 distribution centres have been established to provide relief to the less unfortunate ones and over 10 lakh animals have also been affected.

Almost 90% of the Kaziranga National Park has been submerged by now, and authorities are taking several measures, including speed restrictions on National Highway 37 which touches the park, to rescue animals as they head to higher grounds.

While 15 people died in floods and landslides and over 46 lakh have been badly affected in Assam, 24 deaths have also been reported from north Bihar, which is also experiencing a serious flood situation, with water levels of rivers in the area continuing to rise.

Hima Das shared a post from her official Twitter account on July 16 to draw the media’s attention towards the dreadful situation and to urge netizens to contribute towards relief funds to help the lakhs of displaced victims.

The sprinter is currently in Europe and is busy in training camps and other competitive events. India’s golden girl donated to the Assam Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on July 16. Hima Das works as an HR person at the Indian Oil Corporation.

She tweeted: “I have contributed my bit and requesting others also to please help people of Assam. #AssamFloods”

PT Usha raises Rs 20 lakhs to Run School For Athletes

PT Usha is an icon for women athletes. Without the shadow of a doubt, she is one of India’s greatest athletes to have graced the sport. Her blistering pace at the track never ceases to amaze us during her stint as a prolific runner. That’s why she is rightfully called the ‘Queen of Indian Track and Field’. She is referred to as ‘Payyoli Express’.

The legendary athlete’s on-field contributions are well known as she has won 101 International medals so far. She made the entire nation proud by chipping in with gold medals which is the most by any female athlete in the single track event – 100, 200, and 400-meter sprints, the 400-meter hurdles, and the 4 x 400-meter relay at the 1985 Asian Track and Field Championship in Indonesia.

Credits: Kerala

PT Usha created iconic history by becoming the first-ever Indian women to reach the finals of an Olympic event before she won the Semi-Finals in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Payyoli Express won the Golden Shoe award for the best athlete in the 1986 Seoul Asiad. She was rightly honoured with Padma Shri and the Arjuna award in the year 1985.


After calling it quits from athletics, P.T. Usha came up with an initiative of establishing ‘Usha School of Athletics’ in 2002. She started this school because she wants to train young athletes with an intention of winning Olympic medals for India. She offers free training, shelter and food for the budding young talents.

She believes that India has a great future for ‘athletics’. She has taken to crowdfunding and raised over a whopping Rs 20 lakhs in a bid to train young talents at her school in the hope of turning them into potential contenders for Asiad and Olympics. She has to raise a sum of Rs 27 lakh for 16 athletes. The crowdfunding campaign has ended on the website ‘Milaap’ but contributions are still welcome.

P.T. Usha currently trains 16 students who live in the residential campus and it takes anywhere between Rs 3-6 lakhs per year to train an athlete. The students sweat it out day in day out regularly. The day sets off in the early morning at 5:30 AM and the students will assemble at the running ground by 6:15 AM.

Their morning court session lasts 3 hours till about 9:30 AM and after that, the students attend school till 4:30 PM. Then in the evening, training session starts from 4:30 PM to 6 PM. “Athletics is our focus, but our kids also pursue a formal education at nearby schools and colleges. Some of them scored above 90%,” Usha was quoted as saying by Times of India.

“In the past, celebrities like Mohandas Pai and Kumari Shibulal came forward to sponsor five to six athletes each; Sudha Murthy was kind enough to give us Rs 20 lakh once. Our mud track was donated by the state government and the synthetic one by the Centre. Our hostels were built by Sobha Developers,” Usha said.