Indian Athletes Honored with National Sports Award 2020
The highest sporting honor of India, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rathna awards has been announced on the eve of Hockey legend Dhyan Chand’s 115th birth anniversary. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has made the announcement of the prestigious award for sports and games category. Kiren has also stated that the prize money of in four of the seven categories of the National Sports Awards, has been raised compared to the previous year.
The prize money for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award has been raised to 25 lakh from 7.5 lakh, likewise, Arjuna Award has been increased to 15 lakh from just five lakh. The Dhronacharya (Lifetime) Awardees were offered five lakh which would now be raised to 15 lakh. But, the regular Dhronacharya awardees would be given 10 lakh instead of 5 lakh. Furthermore, Dhyanchand awardees would also see a rise from five lakh to 10 lakh.
Commenting on the revised prize money, Kiren says, "The prize money for the Sports Awards was last reviewed in 2008. These amounts should be reviewed once every 10 years at least. If professionals in every field have seen an enhancement in their earnings, why not our sportspersons?”
He continues, “The performance of our athletes in the international level has become better. When our players perform better, they have to be recognized and rewarded. If the government doesn't recognise their achievements, it will discourage every budding sporting talent we have in India.”
The Virtual Award Ceremony
The National Sports and Adventure Award 2020 have been conducted virtually for the very first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event didn’t take place in its usual format at the Rashtrapati Bhawan’s Durbar Hall, but, it was held at 76 Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres and other venues closest to them. From there they connected with the Hon’ble President of India Ram Nath Kovind at his residence, who presented the awards to 65 sports persons.
Before entering the SAI centres, all the awardees wore PPE kits and underwent Covid-19 test and travelled for about eight hours. Sadly, Wrestler Vinesh Phogat and Badminton Star Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were tested Covid-19 positive and couldn’t make it up for the event.
The prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was presented to Rohit Sharma for Cricket, Mariyappan Thangavelu for Para Athletics, Manika Batra for Table Tennis, Vinesh Phogat for Wrestling, and Rani Rampal for Hockey.
The Arjuna Award was given to Atanu Das for Archery, Dutee Chand for Athletics, Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty for Badminton, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi for Basketball, Manish Kaushik and Lovlina Borgohain for Boxing, Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma for Cricket, Sawant Ajay Anant for Equestrain, Jhingan for football, Aditi Ashok for Golf , Akashdeep Singh and Deepika for Hockey, Deepak for Kabaddi, Kale Sarika Sudhakar for Kho Kho, Dattu Baban Bhokanal for Rowing, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary for Shooting, Madhurika Patkar for Table Tennis, Divij Sharan for Tennis, Shiva Keshavan for Winter Sports, Divya Kakran and Rahul Aware for Wrestling, Suyash Narayan Jadhav for Para Swimming, Sandeep for Para Athletics, and Manish Narwal for Para Shooting.
The Dronacharya Award Under Life- Time Category was presented to Dharmendra Tiwary for Archery, Purushotham Rai for Athletics, Shiv Singh for Boxing, Romesh Pathania for Hockey, Krishan Kumar Hooda for Kabaddi, Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar for Para Powerlifting, Naresh Kumar for Tennis, Om Parkash Dahiya for Wrestling.
The Dhyan Chand Award was given to Kuldip Singh Bhullar and Jincy Philips for Athletics, Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe and Trupti Murgunde for Badminton, N Usha and Lakha Singh for Boxing, Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu for Football, Ajit Singh for Hockey, Manpreet Singh for Kabaddi, J Ranjith Kumar for Para Athletics, Satyaprakash Tiwari for Para Badminton, Manjeet Singh for Rowing, Late Shri Sachin Nag for Swimming, Nandan Bal for Tennis, Netarpal Hooda for Wrestling.
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards was offered to Anita Devi for Land Adventure, Col Sarfraz Singh for Land Adventure, Taka Tamut for Land Adventure, Narender Singh for Land Adventure, Keval Hiren Kakka for Land Adventure, Satendra Singh for Water Adventure, Gajanand Yadava for Air Adventure, Late Magan Bissa for Life Time Achievement.
The other Regular Category award was presented to Jude Felix for Hockey, Yogesh Malviya for Mallakhamb, Jaspal Rana for Shooting, Kuldeep Kumar Handoo for Wushu, Gaurav Khanna for Para Badminton.