Bhubaneswar & New Delhi: Good news for Odisha and especially for sports lovers. Eminent boxing coach Braja Bhushan Mohanty has been selected to get the coveted Dronacharya Award for this year.
Braja Bhushan is among seven winners to receive the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
The other winners of the prestigious award are: Late R Gandhi (athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (Kabaddi), GSSV Prasad (Badminton), PA Raphel (Hockey), Sanjoy Chakravarthy (Shooting), and Roshan Lal (Wrestling).
Braja Sir, as he is popularly known as will be honoured for his lifetime contribution to the improvement of the standard of boxing in the state as well as in India.
After completion of his training in boxing coaching from Sports Centre, Patiala, in 1992, Braja joined the Indian armed forces as a coach.
Braja who hails from Badakhemundi in Berhampur in Ganjam district during his career as a coach spanning over 20 years, has produced under his watchful eyes scores of pugilists like Shiva Thapa, Dingko Singh, Gurucharan Singh and Vikas Krishan Yadav to name a few who have grabbed medals for the country at international boxing tourneys.
After his retirement in 2013, he was appointed as the chief coach of Jharkhand boxing team. Throughout his illustrious career, he has dedicatedly worked for improvement of boxing in India as if it is his religion.
He was a part of the national coaching team from 2002 to 2011.
He has a problem though. Braja tries his level best to avoid the media glare.
The Sports Ministry on August 22 announced the list of Dronacharya winners along with winners of the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and Dhyan Chand awards.
While paralympian Devendra Jhajharia, who clinched gold in men’s javelin throw at the Rio Olympics, and former Indian hockey skipper Sardar Singh will be felicitated with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the Dhyan Chand Award will be given to Bhupender Singh (athletics), Syed Shahid Hakim (football) and Sumarai Tete (hockey) for lifetime contribution to sports development.