Shuttler Saina Nehwal playing badminton

Indian female Shuttler Saina Nehwal had been rejected for reputable Padma Bhushan award by the Sports Ministry and felt disappointed by this decision. Badminton Association of India (BAI) had suggested her name to the Sports Ministry in August, 2014. Ministry decided to pick two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar as they sensed he was a more worthy person to get this prestigious award.

Saina, who got the Padma Shri in 2010 said, “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 did not recommend my name as I have completed the five years gap. I felt bad about it.”

The young 24-year old requested that her application was also refused last year as she did not finish the five-year statistic after being awarded Padma Shri in 2010. However, this year Sushil Kumar, who got Padma Shri in 2011 and has not fulfilled similar norms required to suggest Sushil’s name for Padma Bhushan.

Saina, only Indian Badminton player who had won a medal in Olympics, was awarded with Arjuna Award in 2009, Khel Ratna and Padma Shri in 2010. She won Premier, Super Series and Grand Prix Gold titles in her career record. She is the first Indian who has achieved these records. Saina said that she would be happy if she and Sushil both get this award.

Saina said, “After 2010, I had won a Commonwealth Games gold medal, first Olympic medal for badminton, achieved a career-high ranking of two and won so many super series titles, so I thought I was deserving as well. However, if the name has not been sent then it feels bad.” She also added, “I spoke to the higher officials yesterday (Friday). They said Sushil’s name has already gone. I can only request them to look into it. If we both can win that would be really good. If his name has been sent as a special case then why my name has not been sent because even if they go by the rules, my name should be sent.”

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