First woman athlete for Padma Vibhushan
The Indian Sports Ministry sent the list of recommendations for this year’s Padma Awards, naming six-time world champion MC Mary Kom for Padma Vibhushan and ace shuttler PV Sindhu for Padma Bhushan. The Manipur boxer, who is the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships, becomes the first woman athlete to be recommended by the Sports Ministry for Padma Vibhushan, the country’s highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna.
- 36-year old Mary Kom will become the fourth sports personality to receive the Padma Vibhushan after chess great Vishwanathan Anand in 2007, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in 2008 and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary in 2008. Mary Kom won the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.
- Sindhu, who became the first Indian to win the BWF World Championships in August, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award. The 24-year old Hyderabadi shuttler had got the Padma Shri in 2015.
- Meanwhile, the names of wrestler archer Tarundeep Rai, hockey Olympian MP Ganesh, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis star Manika Batra, cricket captain Harmanpreet Kaur (T20Is), hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik have been sent for Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award.
- Rai and Ganesh were late additions to the list, which is yet to be approved by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, before which it was an all-women list.
- 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.