Hockey player Surender Kumar, who was part of the hockey team that won bronze at the 18th Asian Games,  was on Thursday felicitated by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan with a cash award of Rs 5 lakh and out-of-turn promotion as manager in state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI). The Indian men’s hockey team had to settle for a bronze medal at the recently concluded Aian Games in Indonesia. Also Read - Indian Hockey Team Improving Under Graham Reid: Birendra Lakra

Kumar, who is at present working as an assistant grade-II level officer in FCI, has been promoted two levels up as manager. Also Read - After Importing 18,000 Tonnes, Centre Offers Onions at Rs 22 Per kg to States

“We are also giving him a cash award of Rs 5 lakh. We have asked the FCI to identify and nurture such talented sports personalities,” Paswan told reporters after the felicitation. The minister also asked the officials of the department to encourage the players so that the players could perform better.

Upon being felicitated by the union minister, Kumar expressed his happiness and said that he was feeling very proud of himself.

Retired Indian athlete Shiny Abraham and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari are among the sportspersons who have worked with FCI.

Currently, there are three more sportspersons besides Kumar working with FCI.

(With PTI inputs)