GUWAHATI, Sept 10 - �Bhupen Mama had said � this earth is a playground � and today, I�ve truly felt its meaning,� sprint sensation Hima Das stated this at a programme organised by the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) for her felicitation by around 160 organisations of the State at the Latasil playground here this evening.
Hima also sang a few lines of Bhupenda�s immortal number Manuhe Manuhor Babe along with her favourite song, Zubeen Garg�s famous number Mon Jai.
�I have a dream to have a photograph with the Prime Minister with at least 10 international medals,� a beaming Hima told the gathering.
�Till today I have done nothing except trying my best. Bhogeswar Barua had made Assam famous on the international stage at the 1966 Asiad. However, after that, there was a long gap and I hope to bridge this gap from now on,� Hima said while accepting the felicitation.
Hima urged all organizations to concentrate on discovering sports talents hidden in various parts of Assam. �I believe that when I will shine, then my village, my State and my country will also shine. I work with this philosophy,� she said.
Hima, whose parents and coach were also present at the programme, recalled the day when she had come to Guwahati last year for further training and thanked former AASU leader Dr Putul Sarma, who provided her financial assistance in her journey to the international track and field. �Putul Sarma sir is somebody who prefers to work from behind the screen. He has done so much for me. I will forever remain grateful to him, along with my coach Nipon Das and Nabajyoti Malakar,� she stated.
AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath, during his inaugural address, said it was for the first time that AASU has organised such a huge programme to honour a sportsperson from Assam.
�We are extremely happy to see such an overwhelming participation of people here today. Hima has made us all proud by creating history in the field of sports and we hope she will scale greater heights,� he said.
AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya in his speech said that earlier AASU was known only for agitations. �We may have to persist with agitations in the future for the people Assam, but along with other activities, of late we have also concentrated on sports. We will work to discover sporting talents in the State. Hope all the stakeholders in the sporting arena will cooperate and guide us in this noble cause,� he added.
Bhattacharya said the government should assist Hima in getting further training in the world�s top sports academies.
AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi demanded a comprehensive sports policy for Assam. �States like Haryana and Odisha have done much more for the uplift of their sporting talents. Our government should also follow this path. We have many talents. All of them should get proper exposure,� Gogoi said.
AASU felicitated Hima with a memento designed by sculptor Biren Singha.
Earlier, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge for Assam Harish Rawat and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora felicitated Hima at an event held in the Assam Administrative Staff College guest house, Khanapara.