For the first time ever in the history of Indian sports, the Sports Ministry has recommended 9 names for the Padma awards in 2020 - and all of them are women.
Six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom has become the first woman-athlete to have been nominated by the ministry for a Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honour in the country. She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.
Among the list of the 9 women nominated by the Ministry, some names are badminton-player P V Sindhu, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table-tennis player Manika Batra, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur, mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik.
While P V Sindhu has received the Padma Shri in 2015, and was nominated for the Padma Bhushan in 2017, it is the first time an all-women list of athletes was sent as nominees for the Padma awards.
The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee in the Ministry of Home Affairs. The names of the selected awardees will be announced on the eve of Republic Day celebrations in 2020.