New Delhi: India’s highest sporting honor Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award has been rechristened by the ruling govt. The elite award has been renamed after Hockey wizard and Indian sporting legend Major Dhyan Chand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Friday. Major Dhyan Chand is a three-time Olympic champion and has scored 570 goals in 185 matches for India.
This is following the recent stellar and admirable performance of both men’s and women’s hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics. A day after the men’s hockey team won a historic bronze medal at the Games. It was India’s first medal win in hockey at the Olympics since Moscow 1980. While the women’s team finished fourth, their best-ever finish at the Games. Evidently, Prime Minister Modi had been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. The National Sports Day is also celebrated on his birth anniversary, August 29.
Khel Ratna Award
Khel Ratna launched in 1991-92. The award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh. Chess legend Vishwanathan Anand was the first recipient of the prestigious Award. Some of the winners in recent years include cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, among others.
“Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award! Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honor and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honor will be named after him,” PM Modi tweeted.
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