In a first, the Sports Ministry has nominated nine names for the country’s second-highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan Award, all of whom are women.
Nominations For Padma Awards
Dominating the list is the six-time world boxing champion, Mary Kom, who was previously awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013.
World Badminton Champion PV Sindhu, who is the first Indian to win the world championship in August, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan. Sindhu did not make it for the Padma Bhushan honour in 2017 after her name was recommended by the sports ministry. However, she was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2015.
The iconic Indian wrestler, Vinesh Phogat is also nominated for Padma Shri. Phogat is the first Indian woman wrestler to bag Gold in both Commonwealth and Asian Games and the first Indian athlete to get nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards.
Manika Batra, the Indian Table tennis star with 47th world ranking has also been nominated by the ministry for Padma Shri. Batra led the Indian women’s team to a gold medal historic win in the final against Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
30-year old T20I skipper and Arjuna Awardee Harmanpreet Kaur has also been nominated for Padma Shri. She is the first Indian woman to score a century in a Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) match in November 2018.
Women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal is also on the list of Padma Shri recommendations. At the age of 15, she was the youngest player in the national team which participated in the 2010 World Cup. Her team bagged a silver in 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta.
Former Indian shooter, Suma Shirur won Gold in the Commonwealth Games 2002 in the 10m air rifle event. Her name is nominated for Padma Shri by the ministry to honour her contributions to the game.
Twin Sisters Tashi and Nungshi Malik are the first of their kind to climb the Seven Summits and reach the North and South Poles and complete the Adventurers Grand Slam and Three Poles Challenge. As the first female twins to climb Mount Everest, they have also made it to the Padma list.
The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee in the home ministry. The names of the awardees will be announced on the eve of the Republic Day next year.