A day after the Sports Ministry decided against bestowing the Arjuna award on former Khel Ratna winners Sakshi Malik and Mirabai Chanu, the Indian wrestler wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking what medal she should bring to receive the prestigious award.
The sports ministry pruned the list from 29 to 27, removing Sakshi and Mirabai’s name from the list. Sakshi won the Khel Ratna in 2016 for her bronze in Rio Olympics.
Not satisfied by the Sports Ministry’s explanation, Sakshi wrote a letter addressed to PM Modi and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking if she would win the Award ever in her career.
“I am proud to have been conferred with the Khel Ratna. Every sportsperson dreams of winning all the awards. A sportsperson puts her life at risk for it. I also dream of seeing Arjuna award winner against my name,” the 27-year old wrestler wrote.
“What more medal do I get for the country that I be honoured with the Arjuna award. Or in this wrestling life, I would never have the good luck of winning this award?” Sakshi, who has also won Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award of India, said.
Sakshi won gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2017 and a silver at the Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi. She also won a bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
The Sports Ministry accepted an unprecedented five recommendations for the country’s highest sporting honour this year.