Two days after he had threatened to quit his job for being denied a promotion, London Olympics silver medallist Subedar Vijay Kumar was today accorded a rousing welcome by the Indian Army on his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.

“It is a really fantastic reception and I am really touched by it. This is the first time I am getting such a welcome,” Kumar said after his arrival at the IGI from where he was driven to the Army headquarters on an open Gypsy.

A part of terminal 3 here went green as the Army personnel turned up in full force to receive the shooter who has done the country proud by clinching a silver in the 25-m rapid fire pistol event, the lone white metal winner so far.

The place resonated not just with the sounds of drums and the traditional nagaras, the national anthem was also played at the background once the man of the moment’s Lufthansa 762 flight touched down early in the morning.

Soon after the shooter won his medal, Kumar had made it clear in London that he was unhappy that he had not got a single promotion in the last six years, despite some major sporting achievements at the national and international level.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken has taken up the shooter’s cause and has written to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, seeking special consideration for the athlete who has done India proud.

“I had done the country proud by winning at major events in 2006, Delhi 2010 (CWG) and London 2012 and was expecting promotion and decorations. As sportspersons we also have expectations,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games multiple gold winner said on his return home.

He further said: “Offers have started to pour in from all quarters and the sports minister has openly said that I can be given a job in SAI at the IAS officer’s level. I am expecting a similar offer from Army.”

Though he started serious shooting only after joining the Army, Kumar said he realised that this was something which he always had it in him.

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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