An Indian woman athlete has been recommended for the Padma Vibhushan award, the country’s second-highest civilian honour, for the first time. The Sports Ministry named has named six-time world champion MC Mary Kom for the honour.
Badminton world champion PV Sindhu been nominated for the Padma Bhushan, which is India’s third highest civilian honour, according to a report in The Times of India.
The Sports Ministry’s other recommendations include seven women athletes: wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis player Manika Batra, Twenty20 International cricket captain Harmanpreet Kaur, hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineers Tashi and Nungshi Malik, the report continued.
Archer Tarundeep Rai and hockey Olympian MP Ganesh were also late additions to the list, which is yet to be approved by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, according to PTI.
Rajya Sabha member Mary Kom has already been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006 and will become the first Indian woman athlete to get the Padma Vibhushan. The only other sportspersons to get the award are chess great Viswanathan Anand (2007), cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (2008) and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (posthumously in 2008).
Sindhu, on the other hand, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan in the past, after getting the Padma Shri in 2015, but didn’t make the cut. However, after becoming India’s first-ever gold medallist at the world championships, she has been recommended again.
Archer Rai was part of the Indian recurve team, along side Atnau Das and Pravin Jadhav, that won a silver medal at the World Championships in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands in June this year.
They earned an Olympic quota along with three single athlete quotas in the men’s recurve individual event. Ganesh was part of the Indian men’s hockey team that won the bronze medal in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
He was also a member of the sides that won a World Cup bronze in 1971 Barcelona and silver in 1973 Amsterdam.
A Sports Ministry source confirmed the two new additions to the Padma recommendations list but said they are yet to be approved by the Minister.
“MP Ganesh and Tarundeep were late additions to the list. While the seven women recommended for Padma Shri this year are more or less certain to make the final list, Ganesh and Tarundeep’s cases will be decided by the Padma awards committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs,” the source told PTI.
“The list is yet to be sent to the awards committee as the Sports Minister has not approved it. He is busy travelling and once he gives his approval, it will be forwarded to the awards committee,” he added.
The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee, which will announce the names of the selected awardees on the eve of the Republic Day celebrations early next year.
With PTI Inputs