Star hockey player Sardar Singh and para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia have been officially announced to receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 2017. Jhajharia will be the first para-athlete to receive country’s highest sports recognition.
Jhajharia, the first para-athlete to receive the Khel Ratna, was the first choice for the coveted recognition. The committee had recommended Sardar as the second choice, but advised that both the athletes should be considered for the honour.
The Sports Ministry has also confirmed the list of seven Dronacharya, 17 Arjun and three Dhyan Chand Awardees. The recommendations were made by a committee of former Olympians, national sports award recipients and eminent journalists. The committee was headed by Justice (Retd) CK Thakkar.
The Dhyan Chand Award is bestowed for life time contribution to sports development.
The Awards will be presented on the National Sports Day, August 29, Tuesday, by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees will receive a citation, certificate and cash purse of Rs 7.5 lakh, whereas Drona, Arjuna and Dhyan Chand award winners receive Rs 5 lakh, citation, certificate and statuette.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Devendra Jhajharia (Para athlete), Sardara Singh (Hockey)
Late Dr DR Gandhi (athletics), Mr Heera Nand Kataria (kabaddi), Mr GSSV Prasad (badminton, lifetime achievement), Mr Brij Bhushan Mohanty (boxing, lifetime achievement), Mr PA Raphel (hockey, lifetime achievement), Mr Sanjoy Chakravarthy (shooting, lifetime achievement), Mr Roshan Lal (wrestling, lifetime achievement).
VK Surekha (archery), Khushbir Kaur (athletics), Arokia Rajiv (athletics), Prashant Singh (basketball), Laishram Debendro Singh (boxing), Cheteshwar Pujara (cricket), Harmanpreet Kaur (cricket), Oinam Bembem Devi (football), SSP Chawrasia (golf), SV Sunil (hockey), Jasvir Singh (kabaddi), PN Prakash (shooting), A Amalraj (table tennis), Saketh Myneni (tennis), Satyawrat Kadiyan (wrestling), Mariyappan (para-athlete), Varun Singh Bhati (para-athlete).
Dhyan Chand Award
Bhupender Singh (athletics), Syed Shahid Hakim (football), Sumarai Tete (hockey).