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23 September 2019 | 2 min read

An All-Women List Of Padma Awardees Is Just What We Need

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For the first time in the history of Indian sports, all the nine athletes nominated by the Sports Ministry for the Padma awards in 2020 are women. Below are the nine nominated sportswomen who made the country proud in their respective domain.

Mary Kom, nominated for the Padma Vibhushan – Six-time world champion boxer MC Mary Kom has become the first woman athlete to be nominated by the ministry for a Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honour in the country. She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.

PV Sindhu, nominated for the Padma Bhushan – The ministry has recommended the Padma Bhushan for reigning world champion PV Sindhu. She had been earlier recommended for this award in 2017. The third highest civilian honour will come to her after her major victory in the World championship over Japan’s Nozomi Okohura.

Vinesh Phogat, nominated for the Padma Shri – The iconic Indian wrestler, Phogat has been chosen by the ministry for the prestigious Padma Shri. She was the first Indian wrestler to win Gold at both the Asian Games and Commonwealth. Further, she was also the first Indian athlete to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards.

Manika Batra, nominated for the Padma Shri – An Indian table tennis player, Manika Batra ranks 47th in the world and is a top-ranked female player in India. She led the Indian women’s team to a historic gold medal win in the final against four-time gold medalists and defending champions Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Harmanpreet Kaur, nominated for the Padma Shri – The T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has also been nominated for Padma Shri, this year. She became the first Indian woman to score a century in a Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) match in November 2018. She was earlier awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2017.

Rani Rampal, nominated for the Padma Shri – The current Women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal is also on the list of Padma Shri recommendations. She participated in 2010 World Hockey Cup and at the age of 15 was the youngest player in the national team. Further, her team also won a silver in the 2018 Asian Games that were held in Jakarta.

Suma Shirur, nominated for the Padma Shri – The former Indian shooter won Gold in the 10m air rifle event at the Commonwealth Games 2002, held in Manchester. She also founded the Lakshya Shooting Club in 2006 at New Panvel, an organization to support budding shooters of the country.

Tashi and Nungshi Malik, nominated for the Padma Shri – Twin Sisters Tashi and Nungshi Malik are the first siblings and twins to climb the Seven Summits, reach the North and South Poles and complete the Adventurers Grand Slam and Three Poles Challenge. They are also the youngest persons to complete the Explorers Grand Slam and also the first Indian and South Asian women to achieve this distinction.

The above recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee in the Ministry of Home Affairs. The names of the selected awardees will be announced on January 25, 2020, the eve of Republic Day celebrations.

by Mary Martina
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