Indian sportswomen have beaten the odds and achieved success again and again, and now it’s time for payback to these athletes for making the country proud. In a first in the history of Indian sports, the sports ministry has sent in nine all-women names for the Padma awards this year.
This landmark move is a milestone in sports for sure as for the first time a woman athlete- Mary Kom has been put forwarded for the Padma Vibhushan award, the country’s second-highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna. The six-time world champion boxer was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006. If she receives the Padma Vibhushan award, it would make her the fourth sportsperson to do so after chess wizard Viswanathan Anand in 2007, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in 2008 and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, who got the award posthumously in 2008. On the other hand, ace shuttler PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian to win the world championship in August, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award. Earlier, Sindhu was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2015.
Besides Mary Kom and PV Sindhu, the other seven women in 2019’s list have all been recommended for the Padma Shri. They are wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis player Manika Batra, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik.The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee, which will announce the names of the selected awardees on the eve of Republic Day celebrations in January next year.