PM Narendra Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award; to be known as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award will be renamed the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Known as the highest sporting honour in the country, the award was re-christened by the Indian prime minister “respecting the sentiments of citizens across the country”.
The award was instituted in 1991-92, awarded for the performance by a sportsperson in a year. However, after suggestions from the 2014 award selecting committee revised the criteria to a period of four years. The most recent recipients of the sporting honour are Indian cricket vice-captain Rohit Sharma, 2016 Rio Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, Table tennis ace Manika Batra, Wrestling sensation Vinesh Phogat, and women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal. Famous recipients include Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, Abhinav Bindra, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Mary Kom, Vijender Singh and Anju Bobby Goerge.
I have been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. I thank them for their views.
Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award!
Jai Hind! pic.twitter.com/zbStlMNHdq
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 6, 2021
The award comes with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh. PM Nodi announced the rechristening of the prestigious award via his social media suggesting that he was respecting the sentiment from citizens across the country.
Major Dhyan Chand was a former Indian captain in field hockey and was part of the golden generation that dominated the sport at the Olympics. Fondly known as the Wizard or the Magician, Chand played between 1926-1949, scoring over 400 goals in his career. Along with his historic goal-scoring, Dhyan Chand won three Olympics Gold Medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936. He is regarded as one of the greatest ever to play the sport and his birthday, 29 August, is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year.