Red carpet welcome for sprinter Hima in Assam

State govt. awardsRs. 1.6 crore to‘Dhing Express’
The Assam government on Friday accorded Hima Das, India’s newest sprint star, a red carpet welcome on her arrival at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi International Airport in Guwahati. Almost everyone from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia were at the airport to receive Ms. Das. She is scheduled to visit her village adjoining Dhing town in Nagaon district later.
Ms. Das was nicknamed ‘Dhing Express’ after the little-known town that was the cultural and literary hub of Assam till the 1950s. The airport was decked up for Ms. Das’s visit, with the floor from the arrival lounge to the exit painted to represent a red carpet with six lanes. From the airport, she was taken in a procession to the Sarusajai Sports Complex, where she won the 200 m and 400 m golds in her first major event — the 58th National Inter-State Senior Athletics champion ship. “This is where my journey as a sprinter began. I cannot express how I feel about returning here,” she said, after praying on the track.
Ms. Das bagged a gold and two silver medals in the recently concluded Asian Games.
Later in the day, the Assam government felicitated Ms. Das at the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra and gave her a cash award of Rs. 1.6 crore.
“No amount can measure the pride and joy she has earned for the people of Assam. But we hope this token would be an incentive for greater sporting glory,” Mr. Sonowal said.
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