Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra is chosen for the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.
“Very honoured to be awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna alongside some outstanding sportspersons. Aap sabhi ke sahyog aur support ke liye tahe dil se dhanyavad. Koshish ye hi rahegi ki aise hi apne performances se desh ke liya aur success haasil kar paun! Jai Hind,” tweeted Neeraj Chopra.
The javelin thrower won India its first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the list for National Sports Awards 2021. The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India, Dr Ram Nath Kovind at Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 13.
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
The Khel Ratna that is considered India’s highest sporting honour, was established in 1991-92 as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award before it was renamed to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2021. The Khel Ratna is awarded for outstanding performances in sports spanning over a period of four years and winners get a medallion, a certificate and a cash prize.
The award will be given to 12 sportspersons, Neeraj Chopra in Athletics, Lovlina Borgohain in Boxing, Avani Lekhara in Para Shooting, Ravi Kumar in Wrestling, Sreejesh P.R in Hockey, Krishna Nagar in Para-Badminton, Sumit Antil in Para-Athletics, Mithali Raj in Cricket, Pramod Bhagat in Para-Badminton, Manpreet Singh in Hockey, Sunil Chhetri in Football and Manish Narwal in Para Shooting.
Named after Arjuna, the main protagonist from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, the Arjuna Award was set up in 1961. It was India’s highest sporting honour before the Khel Ratna came into being.
This award is given for consistently good performance over a period of four years, the winners of the Arjuna Award receive a statuette of Arjuna, a certificate and a cash prize. As per current rules, a Khel Ratna winner cannot be nominated for the Arjuna Award. However, an Arjuna winner can be nominated for the Khel Ratna.
The entire men’s hockey team has been awarded the Arjuna award except for Sreejesh P. R and Manpreet Singh.
The Arjuna Award has been awarded to Arpinder Singh, Simranjit Kaur, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhavani Devi, Monika, Vandana Katariya, Sandeep Narwal, Hiimani Uttam Parab, Abhishek Verma, Ankita Raina, Deepak Punia, Dilpreet Singh, Harman Preet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, AmitRohidas, Birendra Lakra, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Varun Kumar, Simranjeet Singh, Yogesh Kathuniya, Nishad Kumar, Praveen Kumar, SuhashYathiraj, Singhraj Adhana, Bhavina Patel, Harvinder Singh, and Sharad Kumar.
The Dronacharya Award was established in 1985 which is India’s highest sports honour for coaches. It is awarded to individuals for producing medal winners at prestigious international events. Dronacharya or Drona was Arjuna’s guru or coach in the Mahabharata. Awardees receive a bronze statue of Dronacharya, a certificate and a cash prize.
The Dronacharya Award is given out for both recent accomplishments and lifetime contributions. In the Life Time Category, it was awarded to T. P. Ouseph, Sarkar Talwar, Sarpal Singh, Ashan Kumar, and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi. In the regular category, it went to Radhakrishnan Nair P, Sandhya Gurung, Pritam Siwach, Jai Prakash Nautiyal, and Subramanian Raman.
Major Dhyan Chand Award
Another award was named after India’s hockey magician, Dhyan Chand. It represents India’s highest honour for lifetime achievements in sports.
It is presented for good performance and contributing towards the promotion of sports in an individual capacity since 2002, the winners get a Dhyan Chand statuette, a certificate and a cash prize.
Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime achievement went to Lekha KC, Abhijeet Kunte, Davinder Singh Garcha, Vikas Kumar, and Sajjan Singh.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy
The oldest National Sports Award is the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy was instituted in 1956–1957.
Named in honour of Indian freedom fighters and the country’s first education minister Abul Kalam Azad, the award is given to the university for top performance in inter-university tournaments over the last year. Punjab University, Chandigarh will receive the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, MAKA, Trophy for 2021.