As India's first woman to reach a badminton final at Olympics, P.V. Sindhu vows for gold in the Rio Games in the meantime, millions of Indians have their hands raised in prayer for her triumph against world no. 1, Spain's Carolina Marin.
A group of people in Borivali suburban in Mumbai performed 'yajna' on 19 August for Sindhu's victory. Holding Sindhu's picture in their hands, the group danced to the beats of drums to express their happiness and raised slogans lauding the shuttler from Hyderabad.
Phool Singh, who was performing yajna in which a large number of slum dwellers participated, told ANI, "Our country's daughter P.V. Sindhu is just a step behind the gold medal; we performed yajna in this locality of poor people, as we feel 'garibon ki badi dua lagti hai' (poor's prayers are heard). And, I am sure that our country's daughter will bring a gold medal. If she wins gold, there will be a huge celebration in this 'basti' (slum or ghetto)."
He added, "We wish all the athletes and players very best, but gold medal is gold medal, which is different from others... We are sure that Sindhu will definitely bring a gold medal."
The locals from Agra and Delhi also offered prayers for Sindhu. Furthermore, the people in Bijnor offered 'special Friday prayers' at a mosque for her victory.
Bijnor (UP): Special Friday prayers at mosque for PV Sindhu pic.twitter.com/w45fyJAgyJ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 19, 2016
Similarly, Haryana wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt's mother Sushila Devi offered prayers at Gauri Shankar temple in Delhi for the success of her son and Sindhu.
Delhi:Yogeshwar Dutt's mother Sushila Devi offers prayers at Gauri Shankar temple for success of her son & PV Sindhu pic.twitter.com/HiKonbjE1H— ANI (@ANI_news) August 19, 2016
Sindhu's father P.V. Ramana also offered prayers at Ratnalamma Temple ahead of her final match.
As Sindhu storms into the finals on 19 August, prominent sports personalities came out to congratulate her and wish her the best.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also recorded a congratulatory message for the ace badminton player. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Indian batsman Suresh Raina also took to Twitter to congratulate Sindhu for her achievements.
World amateur boxing champion Mary Kom also expressed confidence of Sindhu winning the gold medal.
"I pray for her. All set to cheer for her. I am sure that PV Sindhu will satisfy the nation's hunger for a gold medal this time. The entire nation is ready to cheer for her," she told the media.
--With Agency inputs