Bajrang Punia and Achanta Sharath Kamal were both rewarded for their achievements with the prestigious Padma Shri award conferred by the President of India - Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli was also awarded the Padma Shri at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian awards of the country and are spread out in three categories - the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri. A total of 112 ‘inspiring' personalities were shortlisted for this year’s Padma awards and their names were announced on Republic Day earlier this year.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind handed out the Padma Shri award to Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia and Indian table tennis legend Sharath Kamal at an awards ceremony that was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. Punia, who bagged a silver medal at the World Championships and bronze medal at the Asian Championships, had a brilliant 2018 season in which he won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
Meanwhile, veteran table tennis player Sharath Kamal has been leading India’s charge in men’s table tennis for years had a highly productive 2018 season as well. Kamal won four medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games which included a historic gold in the men’s team event.
President Kovind also presented the Padma Shri award to Indian chess grandmaster - Harika Dronavalli. Earlier, Harika was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2007–08 by the government of India.
There are still a list of awardees who are awaiting their promised trophy and will likely be conferred the honour at another function to be held on March 16, a Home Ministry official told Hindustan Times.
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