Sunita Lamba, another Olympic gold medalist of India?

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New Delhi, Sep 2: If you think Abhinav Bindra was the only gold medal winner at Olympics, then think again, as Sunita Lamba is another gold medal winner at the Beijing Olympics 2008. Sunita Lamba also won a gold medal in Beijing Olympics 2008 apart from Abhinav Bindra. Sunita Lamba, sister of cricketer Raman Lamba, a fine art artist from Delhi won a gold medal for her sculpture at the Beijing Olympics but till now has received no felicitation from Government. Sunita had sent her sculpture, 'Spirit of Unity', for Olympics Fine Arts 2008, an exhibition put up by the organising committee at Beijing, and it was selected for display.

"The chairman of the International Olympic Committee inaugurated the exhibition on August 11 and on the very same day announced the gold medal for me. The medal will be given to me after 40-day exhibition gets over," Lamba said.

"I was also given an Olympic torch besides the certificate of winning the gold medal," Lamba added. Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra is the only sportsperson to have fetched a gold for India at the games this time.

The exhibition will run for a few months in different areas of China itself and after that it will move to countries across the world.

"Is 'art' a discipline which doesn't hold any importance for the country? More than 20 days have passed since I won the medal but no one has contacted me yet," Lamba, who is 40 plus, laments.

"I am not against any reward for any sportspersons but it pinches when the authorities completely ignore you. I belong to a sports family and I believe in sports. My aim is to move ahead in life," said Lamba, who works with The Oberoi hotels in the Capital and is a resident of west Delhi.

Before leaving for Beijing, she had even tried to contact Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and union Culture minister Ambika Soni to tell them about her participation. "I have been making sculptures for the last 25 years and my work was selected from among 10,000 entries for the final 110. Before leaving for Beijing I tried to contact both of them, but didn't get any response from them," Lamba said.

After waiting for a long time, she finally decided to contact the government herself and called Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit last week. Sheila Dikshit asked her to come to the felicitation function of Olympic bronze medal winner in wrestling Sushil Kumar at her residence Monday.

"But even here, the CM just introduced me to the media and that was it. I was not even given a bouquet of flowers. Everyone decorate their houses with costly art prices, but they are not ready to recognise it as a discipline. Boxer, Vijender singh's father congratulated me and expressed his regret over people's ignorance. He said that art is also a sport and I really felt nice talking to him " Lamba said.

The artist will be travelling to Beruit and US to showcase her work. "I have also decided to organise an art show in India in which I will invite the international artists who took part in the Olympics art exhibition," she said.

Her elder brother, Rajan Lamba, said, "The authorities only remember a few people and forget everyone else".

OneIndia News

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