Vinesh Phogat during the Wrestling World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.(AP)
Vinesh Phogat during the Wrestling World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.(AP)

‘Deserving get left out each time,’ Vinesh Phogat raises questions on Padma Awards

The current World Championship bronze medallist and one of India’s biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, Vinesh hit out at the government accusing them of leaving out “deserving” candidates.
New Delhi | By Press Trust of India
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2020 11:52 PM IST

Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Sunday raised questions about the manner in which Padma awards are given to sportspersons, terming the process as an “unfair one” after facing the snub for the third time.

The current World Championship bronze medallist and one of India’s biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics, Vinesh hit out at the government accusing them of leaving out “deserving” candidates.

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“Every year our government awards several sportspersons. This award serves as great encouragement for sports and for athletes to continue chasing excellence but is also seen that numerous times, this awards don’t honour current achievements or instances of sporting success in the recent past,” Vinesh posted a screenshot on her official twitter page.

“It’s almost like the deserving get left out each time. This has become a pattern. The 2020 Awards list is no different. Who decides who shall be awarded? Are there current or former athletes in the jury? How does it even work? At the end it all just seems slightly unfair,” it further stated.

While the ace grappler didn’t name anyone but among the female athletes, six-time World Champion and Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom has been conferred with second highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan while former national women’s football captain Bem Bem Devi got Padma Shri.

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For the record, Asiad and CWG gold medallist Vinesh was conferred with Arjuna Award in 2016. In 2018, Sports Authority of India sent her nomination but she couldn’t make the final list.

It is believed that the trigger for such a twitter tirade could be due to the fact that Bem Bem Devi was conferred the award before her.

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