Uttarakhand: Hockey Star Vandana Katariya, Who Received Casteist Slurs, Named As Brand Ambassador

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday named Indian Women’s hockey player Vandana Katariya as brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development.

The announcement was made at a program organized to felicitate the recipients of awardees of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award.

The CM also announced that the prize money for the above-mentioned awards will be increased from Rs 31,000 to Rs 51,000 from next year onwards.

This year 22 women were honored with the Tilu Rauteli Award and 22 women were awarded Anganwadi Karyakarti Puraskar. The recipients of the Tilu Rauteli Award were given an honorarium of Rs 31,000 and a citation. Whereas, under the Anganwadi worker award, a cash prize of Rs 21,000 and a citation was given.

Uttarkhand Sports Minister Arvind Pandey also met Vandana and her family at Haridwar’s Roshanabad village and wished her a bright future.

“Vandana Katariya has brought laurels to the country as well as Uttarakhand. India has got a brilliant player in Vandana. She will inspire millions to play the sport,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Vandana’s brother, Pankaj Katariya, thanked the state government for making her the brand ambassador.

“We thank the state government for making her the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development. Today every girl wants to be like her. We are proud of her. She is not only the daughter of the family but the daughter of the entire country,” he said.

It is noteworthy that Vandana was subjected to casteist slurs from a group of men from a dominant caste in her village. They burst crackers, staged a dance and mocker her family after the Indian’s women’s hockey team’s heartbreaking semi-final loss at the Olympics.

The men hurled abusive remarks saying that the team lost because it had “too many Dalit players”.

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