The National Sports Awards began virtually on 29 August for the first time in history due to Covid-19. On this National Sports Day, unlike other years awardees did not make the customary walk on the red carpet inside Rashtrapati Bhawan’s Durbar Hall.
But the national sports awards were held at chosen 76 Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre and other venues closest to them from, where President was also a part through a video conference from his residence.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was also part of the ceremony and began the National Sports Day by paying tribute to Major Dhyan Chand. Sanitization procedures were also followed due to the pandemic situation.
This year the prize money for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award has been increased to Rs 25 lakh from the previous amount of Rs 7.5 lakh; Arjuna Award has been enhanced to Rs 15 lakh from Rs 5 lakh.
President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated all the athletes, coaches, and sports associations on their awards and for their inspiring efforts on and off the field.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan T. (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh (Wrestling), Rani (Hockey)
Dronacharya Award (Lifetime category): Dharmendra Tiwary (Archery), Purushotham Rai (Athletics), Shiv Singh (Boxing), Romesh Pathania (Hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (Kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (Para Powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (Tennis), Om Parkash Dahiya (Wrestling).
Dronacharya Award (Regular category): Jude Felix Sebastian (Hockey), Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton)
Arjuna Award: Atanu Das (Archery), Dutee Chand (Athletics), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (Badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Basketball), Subedar Manish Kaushik (Boxing), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Ishant Sharma (Cricket), Deepti Sharma (Cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (Football), Aditi Ashok (Golf), Akashdeep Singh (Hockey), Deepika (Hockey), Deepak (Kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (Kho Kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (Rowing), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Suhas Patkar (Table Tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Divya Kakran (Wrestling), Rahul Aware (Wrestling), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para-Swimming), Sandeep Para (Athletics) Manish Narwal (Para Shooting)
Dhyan Chand Award: Kuldip Singh Bhullar (Athletics), Jincy Philips (Athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (Badminton), Trupti Murgunde (Badminton), N. Usha (Boxing), Lakha Singh (Boxing), Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajit Singh (Hockey), Manpreet Singh (Kabaddi), J. Ranjith Kumar (Para-Athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (Para Badminton), Manjeet Singh (Rowing), Late Sachin Nag (Swimming), Nandan P Bal (Tennis), Netarpal Hooda (Wrestling).