From gender bias to lack of opportunity and infrastructure, Indian women athletes have to cross many hurdles to come on top. But, nothing kills their spirit and they have made us proud time and again. 2019 has been quite a year for sports in India, especially with respect to female representation and achievements across sports. And today is one of those special days in the history of Indian sports when India's boxing hero, Mary Kom, has been recommended by the sports ministry for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award (country’s second-highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna).
Mary Kom, six-time world champion boxer, Padma Bhushan awardee in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006, is probably the best game-changing female athlete we'll ever know. But, what brings us this day even more special is the fact that it's the first time ever a female athlete has been recommended for the Padma Vibhushan.
Feeling proud? Let us make you feel even more proud. Interestingly, this time around, all the nine athletes recommended by the sports ministry for the Padma awards are women. Amazing, isn't it?
Ace Badminton player, PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian to win the world championship in August, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award. She is the recipient of the sports honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. She secured her place in Forbes' list of Highest-Paid Female Athletes in 2018 and 2019.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat comes from a successful family of wrestlers with her cousins Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. She represents India in Women's Freestyle Wrestling. She has been nominated by the sports ministry for a Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award. Vinesh became the first Indian woman wrestler to win Gold in both Commonwealth and Asian Games. Not only that, Vinesh has become the first Indian athlete to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards.
A terrific table tennis player, Manika Batra is the top-ranked female table tennis player in India. Manika has previously won three gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games. She has been nominated for the Padma Shri award this year.
Harmanpreet Kaur is an Indian cricketer, who was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award for Cricket in the year 2017 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. In November 2018, she became the first woman from India to score a century in a Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) match. She has been nominated for the Padma Shri award this year.
Captain of the Indian Women's Hockey Team, Rani Rampal is considered to be one of the best women hockey players in the world. The sports ministry has nominated her for the Padma Shri award this year.
Suma Shirur is a former Indian shooter who competed in the 10-metre air rifle event. She is a joint world record holder in the event, having scored the maximum of 400 points in the qualification round. In 2003, she was awarded the Arjuna Award by the government of India. This year, she's been nominated for the Padma Shri award.
Mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik are the first female twins to climb the Mount Everest. Also, they are the first siblings to climb the Seven Summits and reach the North and South Poles and complete the Adventurers Grand Slam and Three Poles Challenge. They have been nominated by the sports ministry for the Padma Shri award.
We wish thee powerhouses all the luck. 2019 sure is going to be a memorable year!
Featured Image: Instagram
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