Mumbai: Former hockey captain Dhanraj Pillai alongwith Maharashtra Minister of Sports & Youth Welfare Padmakar Valvi, Maharashtra Education Minister Vijay Darda and the athletes representing India at the 2012 London Olympics were present to receive the Monnet Go for Gold torch which reached Mumbai after travelling through many parts of India and Maharashtra with an aim to spread the spirit of sportsmanship in the country here on Wednesday.
An initiative by Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited (MIEL), the torch run was flagged of from Jammu, covering 50 cities and 6,486 km in 104 days to finally conclude at Kanyakumari.
MIEL is also the sponsors of the Indian boxing team whose seven men boxers and one women boxer have qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.
Monnet Group has also announced cash prizes of Rs.51 lakh for the gold medal winners, Rs.21 lakh for the silver medal winners and Rs.11 lakh to bronze medal winners at the London Olympics.
Travelling from Nagpur via Amravati, Akola, Jalgaon, Dhule, Malegaon, Nashik and Kalyan, the symbolic torch has reached Mumbai.
"It has been an overwhelming experience, as the journey witnessed mammoth support throughout the parts of the country the convoy has travelled," Sandeep Jajodia, chairman and managing director, MIEL said.
The “Monnet Go for Gold” torch was unveiled at a ceremony held at Delhi on 20th January 2012 by the Honourable Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Indian cricketing Legend Kapil Dev. The initiative was conceptualised by MIEL to drive the nation’s desire to see an Indian on the victory podium holding a Gold Medal in one hand and the tri colour in the other. The torch run was planned to be flagged of from Jammu covering 50 cities and 6486 kilometres in 104 days to finally conclude at Kanyakumari. The initiative tries to touch and urge every Indian on our way to come out and do their bit to support the athletes in their quest of winning medals.
On March 01, 2012, the Monnet Go for Gold torch was flagged off from Jammu by the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Minister of Sports of J&K, R.S. Chib. The torch since then has travelled through the northern parts of the country touching Chandigarh on 07th March 2012 and finally making its way through New Delhion the 11th of March 2012.
Eminent personalities from the field of politics, sports and entertainment viz Dinesh Trivedi, Shahnawaz Husain, Member of Parliament (BJP), Bhagalpur Bihar , Shashi Tharoor, Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament (Congress), Kurukshetra and Chairman & MD JSPL, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, MLA, Former international Shooter and President Chandigarh Olympic Association, Milkha Singh, Legendry Indian athlete, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, first Indian Silver medal winner for Men's double Trap at 2004 Olympics, Mr. Zafar Iqbal former Indian Hockey team captain, Olympian Gold Medalist and member of the Arjuna Awardees Association, M.K. Jajodia, Group Chairman , Monnet Group, Sandeep Jajodia, Executive Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited welcomed the Monnet Go for Gold torch at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Amongst the sports personalities were Indian pugilists Manoj Kumar (already qualified for theupcoming London Olympics), Devendro (already qualified for the upcoming London Olympics), Akhil Kumar and G.S. Sandhu coach of the Indian Boxing Team along with archers Chekrovolu Swuro, Bombayala Devi (Both of them have qualified for the upcoming London Olympics) along with the Coach Limba Ram and renowned singer Jassi were also present there to welcome the symbolic torch.
The convoy and the torch travelling through the heart of India made its way to Bhubaneswar on April 01, 2012. Chief Minister of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik flagged off the Monnet Go for Gold torch from the Kalinga Stadium.
Dilip Tirkey, MP, Rajya Sabha & former Indian men's hockey team captain along with Asunta Lakra, captain of the Indian women’s hockey team and many other eminent personalities from the field of sports and politics were present at the occasion to welcome the Monnet Go for Gold contingent.
The people of Bhubaneswar showed great enthusiasm and came in huge numbers to join the 12 budding athletes and Dilip Tirkey for the fun run. It was a festive atmosphere and the people were very excited to come forward in support to the Olympic bound Indian contingent and extended their best wishes.
On April 11, 2012, the torch travelling from Bhubaneswar via via Cuttack, Angul, Sambalpur and Katapali reached Raipur at the Outdoor Stadium, sports complex, Budhapara. Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh flagged off the Monnet Go for Gold Torch from Raipur.
Dignitaries from politics viz Brij Moham Agarwal, Minister for Public works department, school education, religious trust and religious affairs, culture, parliamentary affairs and tourism, Ramesh Baish, Member of Parliament, Vikram Sisodia, VC Olympic Association of India and President Chhattisgarh Tennis Association came together for the welcoming of the Monnet Go for Gold torch and the contingent at the Outdoor Stadium, sports complex, Budhapara, Raipur.
Eminent sports personalities like Zafar Iqbal, former Indian Hockey team captain and Arjuna Awardee, Padmashree Bula Chowdhury, first Woman in the World to conquest eight seas in five continents, Sanjib Chakraborty, former captain of the Indian swimming team (Asian games 1982 & 1986), Ashish Kumar, India’s first ever medal winner in Gymnastic were also present at the occasion to welcome the Monnet Go for Gold contingent.
On April 22, 2012 the convoy and the torch having travelled through Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, New Delhi Bhubaneswar and Raipur reached Nagpur at the Yashwantrao Stadium. On this historic day, the Yashwantrao Stadium was audience to political and sports stalwarts who came together in support of the Monnet Go for Gold torch
The symbolic torch was flagged off by Nitin Gadkari, National President, Bharatiya Janata Party and Sandeep Jajodia, Chairman & Managing Director, Monnet Group.
Dignitaries from the field of politics and sports like Shivaji Rao Moghe- Minister for Social Justice & Guardian Minister for Nagpur, Government of Maharashtra, Vijay Darda, Member of Parliament & Chairman, Lokmat Media Limited, Vijender Singh, Indian Boxer, Bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics and Tejaswini Sawant, international shooter welcomed the symbolic torch and the Monnet GO for Gold contingent.
Travelling from Nagpur via Amrawati, Akola, Jalgaon, Dhule, Malegaon, Nashik and Kalyan the symbolic torch has entered Mumbai
Sandeep Jajodia, Chairman and Managing Director, Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited, said Monnet Go for Gold – Fun Run – Kashmir Se Kanyakumari Tak”, saluting the spirit of sportsmanship in India, aims at positioning India as Sporting Nation and not just as a cricketing Nation by creating awareness amongst the people of India towards the efforts of our athletes in putting India on the global map for sports. It is my firm belief that if we manage to do so, we can very well be on course to perform well at the 2016 or perhaps 2020 Olympics."
“Monnet Go for Gold torch run having commenced its journey from Jammu& Kashmir has aroused enthusiasm amongst people to come forward to support, cheer and motivate our athletes at the Olympics. It has been an overwhelming experience, as the journey witnessed mammoth support throughout the parts of the country the convoy has travelled." He added
From Mumbai the “Monnet Go for Gold” torch will proceed towards its final destination Kanyakumari.
Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited is also the proud sponsors of the Indian Boxing team whose seven men boxers and one women boxer have qualified for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. Monnet Group has also announced cash prizes of Rs 51 lakhs for the gold medal winners, 21 lakhs for the silver medal winners and Rs 11 lakhs to bronze medal winners at the LondonOlympics 2012.
AslamSher Khan, Former Olympian & President, Olympians Association of India and Former Indian Hockey team captain Mr. Zafar Iqbal from the Arjuna Awardees Association of India also have come forward in support of the ‘Monnet Go for Gold’ initiative.