Para Archer Sheetal Devi Receives Arjuna Award From President Murmu
The Rashtrapati Bhawan in India recently celebrated a grand event. President Droupadi Murmu gave awards to 26 top athletes and para-athletes.
This special event, the National Sports Awards, honors India’s best sports talents. It’s usually held on August 29, the birthday of hockey star Major Dhyan Chand, but was moved due to the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Top National Award-Winning Sportspeople
One of the stars, Sheetal Devi, a para archer without upper limbs, shined brightly. The ‘Golden Daughter of India’ won two golds at the Hangzhou Asian Games and is the first international para archer with her condition, called Phocomelia.
Chess Grandmaster R. Vaishali also received lots of applause. She’s the elder sister of the young chess genius, R. Praggnanandhaa. Vaishali is now the third Indian woman to become a chess Grandmaster, following Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika.
Chess coach RB Ramesh, who trained Praggnanandhaa, is among the Dronacharya awardees.
Esha Singh, a 19-year-old pistol shooting star, couldn’t attend as she’s in Jakarta for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. She recently secured her spot in the Paris Olympics, winning gold in the 10m air pistol events.
Other Arjuna Award winners include wrestler Antim Panghal and boxer Mohammad Hussamuddin. They both earned bronze medals in their respective world championships last year.
Badminton players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy received the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.
They had a great 2023, winning gold at the Asian Games and titles at the Asian Championships and Indonesia Open Super 1000. They’re aiming for an Olympic medal in Paris.
List of 2023 National Sports Award winners
The Khel Ratna comes with Rs 25 lakh, while the Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award include Rs 15 lakh. Here are the 2023 National Sports Award winners:
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna: Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (badminton).
- Arjuna Awards: 24 athletes including Mohammad Hussamuddin (boxing) and R Vaishali (chess).
- Dronacharya Award: Coaches like Lalit Kumar (wrestling) and RB Ramesh (chess).
- Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement: Manjusha Kanwar (badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (kabaddi).
This event celebrates India’s sports achievements and honors the hard work and success of these talented athletes and coaches.