New Delhi: India’s badminton ace Saina Nehwal was disappointed after India’s Sports Ministry has rejected her from the country’s third highest civilian honour – the Padma Bhushan award.
“I heard that Sushil Kumar’s name was sent for Padma award as a special case, while my name was not sent to Ministry of home affairs by sports ministry. The ministry guidelines say that there needs to be a gap of five years between two Padma awards. So if they can send his name, why they didn’t recommend my name as I have completed the five years gap. I felt bad about it,” Saina, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010, said.
The 24-year-old claimed that her application was rejected last year also on similar grounds but this year, the ministry decided to recommend Sushil’s name even though he has not completed the five-year norm after being bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2011.
“I won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010 and I am the world number four. As a player we feel good when we get such a great award and it motivates.”
In response to Saina’s criticism, Sports Minister of India Sarbananda Sonowal clarified on Sunday that his ministry received the letter of nomination of badminton star Saina Nehwal for the Padma Bhushan only yesterday but said that it will “examine the possibility of recommending” her name for the award on Monday.