The Sports Ministry on Monday announced that Rio Olympics medallists — shuttler P.V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik — will receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai.
Considered as the country’s highest sporting honour, the Khel Ratna award is conferred on a sportsperson for outstanding performance over a period of four years. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh along with a medal and a citation.
Dipa’s coach Bisheshwar Nandi has been selected for the Dronacharya award along side Team India skipper Virat Kohli’s coach Raj Kumar Sharma, athletics coach Nagapuri Ramesh and boxing coach Sagar Mal Dhayal.
Sindhu’s coach Pullela Gopichand received the coveted award in 2009 while Sakshi’s coach Kuldeep Singh has been overlooked for the award.
The Dronacharya awards for lifetime will be awarded to veteran swimming coach S. Pradeep Kumar and wrestling coach Mahabir Singh. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each with a medal and a citation.
Star cricketer Ajinkya Rahane will be conferred on with the Arjuna Award alongside archer Rajat Chauhan, athlete Lalita Babar, cueist Sourav Kothari, boxer Shiva Thapa, footballer Subrata Paul, hockey stars V.R. Raghunath and Rani Rampal, shooters Gurpreet Singh, Apurvi Chandela, paddler Somyajit Ghosh, wrestlers Vinesh Phohat, Amit Kumar, Para-athletes Sandeep Singh Maan and Virender Singh.
The award constitutes a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh and medal and a citation.
Athlete Satti Geetha will be conferred the Dhayan Chand award along with hockey player Sylvanus Dung Dung and rower Rajendra Pralhad Shelke. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh, a medal and a citation
President Pranab Mukherjee will give away the awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, which is celebrated as the National Sports Day.