The Sports Ministry of India has taken an unprecedented step in honouring women athletes for the prestigious Padma Awards. For the first time in the history of Indian sports, nine women athletes have been nominated for the Padma Awards. The names include PV Sindhu, MC Mary Kom and other prominent women personalities from other fields. According to a report in the Times of India, MC Mary Kom, the six-time world boxing championship has been recommended for the country's second highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna which is the Padma Vibhushan. This award will already add to Mary Kom's huge list of achievements, having won the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.
PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian badminton player to win the World Badminton Championships, has received the nomination for the Padma Bhushan. There is hope that Sindhu, who missed out on the Padma Bhushan in 2017 as she failed to make it to the final list of awardees, could get it this time. Sindhu had earlier gotten the Padma Shri in 2015. The Padma Bhushan is the country's third highest civilian award.
The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards ommittee in the ministry of home affairs (MHA). The winners will be announced on the eve of Republic Day 2020. The Padma Vibhushan has been awarded to three sports personalities in the past. Viswanathan Anand won it in 2007, Sachin Tendulkar won it in 2008 while Sir Edmund Hillary got the award posthumously in 2008.
Apart from Mary Kom and Sindhu, Vinesh Phogat, who is India's best bet for a wrestling medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has been named for the Padma Shri.
Harmanpreet Kaur, who has been India women's cricket team star in the 2017 World Cup and 2018 Women's World T20, is also in the list along with India women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal. Former shooter Suma Shirur and table tennis player Mannika Batra have also been nominated for the Padma Shri.
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In yet another first, there have been two nominations for mountaineering with twins Tashi and Nungshi Malik. The twins are the first siblings and twins to climb the Seven Summits and reach the North and South Poles and complete the Adventurers Grand Slam and Three Poles Challenge.