Medals winners from Assam at the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games will now be made officers in various state departments.
The first Indian to win a global track title, Hima Das, has been appointed as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) by the Assam government.
The announcement comes after a meeting chaired by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal that amended Assam’s sports policy to appoint sportspersons as Class-I and Class-II officers in different departments of the state.
While Hima Das will take charge as a DSP, medals winners from the state at the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games will be appointed as Class- I officers by the Assam government.
Hima Das, who said that the appointment is a huge motivation, is busy preparing for the upcoming Indian domestic season that begins this weekend in Ranchi.
“Many people are asking, what about Hima's sports career?” India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju said on his Twitter. “She is training for Olympic qualification at NIS Patiala and will keep running for India.
“Our elite athletes are employed in various jobs yet continue to play. Even after retirement, they'll continue to promote sports,” Rijiju added.
The Dhing Express, as Hima Das is known, could be in action at the three Indian Grands Prix before the Federation Cup in March.
The 20-year-old Hima Das is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and will have to count on the domestic meets to make the grade for the Games in July-August.
The Indian athlete needs to dip below the Olympic qualifying standard of 51.35 seconds when competition resumes. Hima’s best time within the qualification window has been a 52.09 set in a meet in the Czech Republic in 2019.
Hima Das’ personal best in the 400m is 50.79 seconds -- a national record -- set at the 2018 Asian Games where she clinched a silver medal.
Predominantly a 400m runner, Hima rose to fame with her gold medal-winning show at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships.
She continued her form at the 2018 Asian Games and was a part of the 4x400m women’s and the mixed relay teams that topped the Asiad in Jakarta.
However, the young Indian’s career came to a standstill following a back injury, which ruled her out of the World Athletics Championships in 2019.