New Delhi: Mary Kom becomes the first woman athlete to receive India's second highest civilian honour after her name appeared in the list of Padma Vibhushan awardees released by the Government of India. World Championships 2019 gold medallist PV Sindhu, on the other hand, will be conferred with Padma Bhushan.
The names of the awardees were announced by the government on the eve of the country's 71st Republic Day.
The 36-year-old Mary Kom, also a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics while also being crowned as world champion six times in an illustrious career.
She is one of seven eminent personalities to be awarded the Padma Vibhushan this year.
The Manipuri boxer, who was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006, is only the fourth sportsperson in the country to be given the Padma Vibhushan after chess wizard Viswanathan Anand, mountaineer Edmund Hillary and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar who all got the coveted award in 2008.
The 24-year-old Sindhu is among 16 persons named for the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian award. She is a silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is the only Indian world champion in badminton.
Sindhu has also won four other World Championships medals -- 2 silver and 2 bronze -- besides the gold she won last year. She won the Padma Shri in 2015.
Among the names for Padma Shri are former Indian women's football team captain Oinam Bembem Devi, cricketer Zaheer Khan, MP Ganesh and Rani Rampal from hockey, shooter Jitu Rai and archer Tarundeep Rai.
LIST OF AWARDEES
MC Mary Kom (boxing)
PV Sindhu (badminton)
Zaheer Khan (cricket)
Oinam Bembem Devi (football)
MP Ganesh (hockey)
Jitu Rai (shooting)
Tarundeep Rai (archery)
Rani Rampal (hockey)
(With PTI inputs)