Devendra Jhajharia, two-time Paralympic gold-medalist, has became the first paralympian to be recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, country’s highest sporting honor.
36-year-old Paralympic javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia was the first choice of the awards selection committee headed by Justice (Retd) C K Thakkar.
Paralympian Jhajharia had won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh was also nominated for the Khel Ratna award.
Considered one of modern hockey’s finest defensive mid-fielders ever, Sardar Singh has led India to two successive silver medal finishes in the Commonwealth Games.
He was also the captain of the team when India won the bronze medal in the 2015 Hockey World League.
He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.
Cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur, Paralympic medalists Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati, and golfer SSP Chawrasia among 17 Arjuna awardees this year.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:
- The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honor of the India.
- The award is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India.
- It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is/are honored for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at international level.
- The award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of INR 7.5 lakh.
The Arjuna Awards are given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports.
Instituted in 1961, the award carries a cash prize of INR 500,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.