Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award Renames To Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, Announces PM Modi
By Aditya Pratap - Aug 6, 2021 6:48 pm
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the decision to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award in honour of India’s best ever hockey player. The announcement was made on Friday via Twitter.

Rajiv gandhi
Arjuna Awardees and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees

This award is known to be the highest award given to a sportsperson in India. Several cricketers and athletes have won it so far.

Also Read: Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu receives Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award

“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!” the Prime Minister tweeted this on Friday.

“Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him,” PM Modi further wrote on his official Twitter profile.

The Khel Ratna award came into being in 1991-92 and Indian Chess legend Viswanathan Anand was the first recipient. Later on, several others like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Leander Paes, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra, Anju Bobby George and Mary Kom have won the award.

The Khel Ratna is awarded to sportspersons for “most outstanding performance by a sportsperson” over four years. The award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh.

Also Read: BCCI has recommended several Indian cricketers for Khel Ratna Award

This decision came in the wake of historical performances by Indian teams – men and women – in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020. India’s men team bagged a bronze medal, their first Olympic medal since winning the gold in 1980, by defeating Germany in the third-place game.

On the other hand, the women’s team reached the semi-final stage for the first time. However, they failed to get past the Argentine challenge in the semis. Later on, Great Britain defeated them in the bronze medal match. Nevertheless, they made history by finishing in fourth place.