NEW DELHI: Indian Tennis Player Sania Mirza was on Saturday conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award– the country’s highest sporting honor. Sania Mirza was awarded for her consistent performances in the last couple of years in the sport of Tennis.
India President Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to the recipient Sania, amid thunderous applause at the Darbar hall. Union Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal was also seen present at the awarding ceremony.
With this, Sania Mirza became the second Tennis player to receive the country’s highest sporting honor after Leander Paes. Coincidentally, the award was given on the day where sports ministry was fighting a case in the court regarding its process of selecting the awardees.
The President has also given away the Arjuna awards to the 17 names recommended by the (retired) Justice V K Bali led panel.
Sania, who attracted the loudest applause from the esteemed gathering at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, received a medal, certificate and cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh. The Arjuna awardees received statuettes, certificates and award money of Rs.5 lakh each, the Times of India reports.
The other awardees are as follows:
The Arjuna awardees for 2015: P R Sreejesh (hockey), Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting), Sandeep Kumar (archery), Mandeep Jangra (boxing), Babita (wrestling), Bajrang (wrestling), Rohit Sharma (cricket), K Srikanth (badminton), Swarn Singh Virk (rowing), Satish Sivalingam (weightlifting), Santhoi Devi (wushu), Sharath Gaekwad (para-sailing), M R Poovamma (athletics), Manjeet Chhillar (kabaddi), Abhilasha Mhatre (kabaddi), Anup Kumar Yama (rollerskating).
Droncharya awardees: Naval Singh (athletics-para-sports), Anoop Singh (wrestling), Harbans Singh (athletics-lifetime), Swatantar Raj Singh (boxing- lifetime), Nihar Ameen (swimming-lifetime)
Dhyan Chand awardees: Romeo James (hockey), Shiv Prakash Mishra (tennis), TPP Nair (volleyball).