Marking a historic moment, Mary Kom, the six-time World Champion, has been recommended by the Sports Ministry for the country's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. This is the first time that the Indian Sports Ministry putting forward a woman athlete’s name. The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna. Mary Kom's name was recommended with nine other athletes, who also happen to all be women.
The Padma Vibhushan has been given to three male sportspersons in the past - Chess Champion V Anand had won it in 2007, 'Master Blaster' Sachin Tendulkar in 2008, and Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (posthumously) in 2008. Mary Kom was earlier honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.
Mary Kom nominated for Padma Vibhushan, while Harmanpreet Kaur and Manika Batra were recommended for Padma Shri, alongside seven other sportspersons by the Sports Ministry👇👇#PadmaAwards #MaryKom #pvsindhu https://t.co/a5RXBucKPi— Sportstar (@sportstarweb) September 12, 2019
While Mary Kom's name has been recommended for the Padma Vibhushan, Badminton World Champion PV Sindhu also happens to be on the list of recommendations. PV Sindhu has been nominated for the Padma Bhushan. Sindhu, having made her debut in 2009, rose to the top with attaining a gold at the World Championship. PV Sindhu had won against Nozomi Okuhara from Japan with the score 21-7 21-7. The finals were played on August 25, 2019, at Basel in Switzerland.
Apart from Mary Kom and PV Sindhu, Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Table Tennis star Manika Batra, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur, and mountaineer twin sisters - Tashi and Nungshi Malik - are the seven other women in this year’s list. They have all been recommended for the Padma Shri. These recommendations have been sent to the awards committee in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The results are to be declared on the eve of the Republic Day, January 25, 2020.