PM Narendra Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award after Hockey legend Dhyan Chand

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Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, which is the highest sporting honour of India, will now be known as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. This news was announced by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his social media handles today. 

PM Narendra Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award after Hockey legend Dhyan Chand

I have been getting many requests from citizens across India: PM Narendra Modi on the renaming of Khel Ratna Award

The Prime Minister explained the reason behind renaming the award. According to the PM, he was receiving numerous requests from across the nation. Hence, the PM acted on those requests and remaned the award recognising the ultimate hockey hero and legend of the sport, Dhyan Chand.

“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!” tweeted the Prime Minister with #JaiHind.

The change has been welcomed by all. The renaming has come at a time when India’s love for hockey had reignited.

India’s performance in hockey at the Olympics has been extraordinary. Both the men’s and women’s teams have given historic performances. 

The men’s team bagged a bronze medal. Hence, ending a 41 year medalless drought for India. On the other hand, the women’s team qualified for the semi finals by defeating Australia, who were one of the favorites in the tournament. Unfortunately, they couldn’t win the semi finals or the bronze medal match but displayed a spirited show. Undoubtedly, India’s future in hockey for both men and women looks bright.

“The exceptional performance of the Men’s and Women’s Hockey Team has captured the imagination of our entire nation. There is a renewed interest towards Hockey that is emerging across the length and breadth of India. This is a very positive sign for the coming times,” the Prime Minister said in another tweet, just before announcing the new name for the award.

Dhyan Chand, whose birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day, won three Olympic golds for the country.

Inaugurated in 1991-92, the award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of₹ 25 lakh. The first recipient of the Khel Ratna was chess legend Viswanathan Anand. Some of the  winners in recent years include cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, among others.

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