Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav said, “The nation will be strengthened by adequate participation of women and working as a team.” He was speaking at the APN Shakti Samman hosted as KD Singh Babu Stadium Lucknow. At the event he inaugurated Women Football Competition and honoured sportswomen who were carving a niche for themselves in a field considered fit for men.

At the event, Akhilesh Yadav felicitated Sona Chowdhary, Adeeba Akhtar, Alka Tomar, Prashanti Singh, Suman Devi, Razia Zaidi, and Pushpa Mishra for their excellent performance in football, taekwondo, wrestling, basketball, athletics, hockey, and swimming respectively. The People’s CM said, “The Samajwadi government is trying to take the state forward on the path of development and prosperity, keeping its secular fabric intact.” He also complimented the women for their contribution in sports.

The young Chief Minister pointed out that the state government had initiated a lot of schemes to encourage sportspersons and promote sports. Thanks to initiative by Akhilesh Yadav, now Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri players will be given Rs. 20,000 per month as pension. This will not only encourage more people to participate in sports but also make Uttar Pradesh reach the zenith of fame in this field.