Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was on Saturday, August 17 nominated for the country’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, along with Asian Games champion wrestler Bajrang Punia.
Punia recently defended his title at the Tbilisi Grand Prix as he won the gold medal by prevailing over Iran’s Peiman Bibyani in the 65kg final of the men’s free style competition.
48-year-old Deepa won a silver in the shot put at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
The 12-member selection committee also picked 19 sportspersons for the Arjuna Award, including atheletes- Tejinderpal Singh, Swapna Barman amd Mohammed Anas Yahiya, cricketers- Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav, footballer- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games, is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India. The award is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India who served the office from 1984 to 1989. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is honoured for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at international level.
The Arjuna Awards are given to recognize outstanding achievement in sports. Started in 1961, the award carries a cash prize of ₹500,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.