Reigning badminton World Champion PV Sindhu has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India. The names of Padma awardees were announced on Saturday on the eve of the 71st Republic Day.
Sindhu became the only Indian woman to win an Olympic silver when she reached the final of the women's singles event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazi. In August last year, the 24-year-old became the first Indian to win gold at the badminton World Championships. She has also won two silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships in the past, thus making her only the second woman after Chinese two-time Olympic gold medallist Zhang Ning, to win five medals in the competition.
PV Sindhu's family hails from Andhra Pradesh and while she was awarded in the sports category, the state also saw Padma Shri recipients in the 'Arts' category -- Yadla Gopala Rao, a folk artist from Srikakulam and puppeteer Dalavai Chalapathi Rao from Anantapur.
Responding to the announcement, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy tweeted, "Hearty congratulations to PV Sindhu on being conferred Padma Bhushan for her contribution to sports and Shri Yadala Gopal and Shri Dalavai Chalpathi Rao on being conferred Padma Shri for their contribution to art."
"Thank you very much, Sir for all your support," PV Sindhu tweeted in response.
Thank you very much sir for all your support https://t.co/ciBCQwsqgiâ€” Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) January 25, 2020
The Indian government has conferred 118 prominent people from different fields with the Padma Shri Awards. The list includes Jagdish Lal Ahuja, Javed Ahmad Tak, Satyanarayana Mundayoor, S. Ramakrishna, Yogi Aeron, Tulasi Gowda, Abdul Jabbar and Usha Chaumar, among others.
Besides them, 12 foreign nationals also made it to the list of 118 Padma Shri awardees this year.
Former Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and George Fernandes will be conferred Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Renowned boxer Mary Kom is also the winner of Padma Vibhushan award, the second-highest civilian honour of the country.