KHEL Ratna Award Renamed After Maj Dhyan Chand

PRESTIGIUOS  Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest honour for sportspersons, has been renamed as MAJOR DHYAN CHAND award. Making the announcement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the decision has been taken following numerous requests to honour the hockey wizard for his spectacular performance before independence at domestic international levels. The coveted award is given for most outstanding performance in the field to a sportsperson over a period of four years immediately preceding the year. The Major Dhyan Chand  Award will be awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The first recipient of the award was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand who was honoured for the performance in the year 1991–92. In 2001, sport shooter Abhinav Bindra, then aged 18, became the youngest recipient of the award.[9] Usually conferred upon only one sportsperson in a year, a few exceptions have been made (1993–1994, 2002, 2009, 2012, and 2016–2020) when multiple recipients were awarded in a year. As of 2019, there have been forty-three recipients from fifteen sports disciplines: Athletics, Badminton, Billiards, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Field hockey, Gymnastics, Shooting, Snooker, Table Tennis, Tennis, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Yacht racing. The most recent recipients of the award are Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), and Rani Rampal (Hockey). Incidentally, Prayagraj born  Major Dhyan Chand, who passed away at the age of 74 in Delhi AIIMS in 1979, was an Indian field hockey player widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. He was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats and was instrumental in helping India winning  Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Till now besides citation, the award carries 25 lakhs. The government is expected to revisit the cash honorarium. Edited by PK Chakravarty. Photo courtesy to Mumbai Mirror.

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