On Friday, 6th August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that the Khel Ratna Award, which was previously named after our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi will now have a new name. It will be named after Major Dhyan Chand as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. This is done to honour one of our finest Indian Hockey athletes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his Twitter handle, “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!”
Hockey is our national sport, deserves all the appreciation and honour. Along with that, the exceptional performances of both our Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics have left us all in awe. This has grabbed a lot of attention from the people and hence the huge amount of requests to our PM to get the name changed.
PM Modi said that there has been a very positive change in our society. The amount of interest and encouragement our Indians are showing this time for the Tokyo Olympics is just commendable.
Who is Major Dhyan Chand?
The sportsperson was born on August 29, 1905, in the city of Allahabad. His family used to play hockey for the British Indian Army before the partition. He graduated from Victoria College in Gwalior in 1932. During his earlier days, he used to love wrestling.
He had no particular interest in the sport as such. With his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, Major Dhyan Chand earned his name and fame in the field of Indian hockey. He earned three prestigious Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932, and 1936. For his major contribution towards our national sport, he was also known as The Wizard or The Magician of hockey.
In his sports career spanning over 22 years, Dhyan Chand has scored over 400 goals between 1926 and 1948. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1956 and his birth…
What is the Khel Ratna Award?
The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is the highest honour of sport in the Republic of India. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years” at the international level. As of 2020, the award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh (US$35,000).
The first-ever Khel Ratna Award was awarded to Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand in the year 1991–92 for his extraordinary performance. Some notable sportspersons who have earned this award are Mary Kom, Viswanathan Anand, Sania Mirza, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.