Mumbai/New Delhi, Aug 11 : Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh to Abhinav Bindra, who won the first gold medal in the men's 10-meter air rifle event for India in Beijing Olympics, on behalf of the state.
Meanwhile, congratulating Abhinav for winning Olympic gold medal, Union Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan said, "Abhinav's effort has brought smile to all Indians. This is a historic achievement which has made us all proud."
In his separate message, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said, "Abhinav's remarkable achievement will inspire other Indian athletes to perform excellently in the remaining parts of the Olympics."
He announced free lifetime train travel pass by 1st AC (including Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains) alongwith a companion to Abhinav.
Abhinav, who was the youngest Indian participant at the 2000 Olympic Games, won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001. In the Air rifle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won gold in the Pairs event and silver in the individual event. At the 2004 Olympic Games, he broke the Olympic record but failed to win a medal.
He is a recipient of the Arjuna award in 2001 and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2001-2002.