Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal said on Sunday that she felt honored to be selected by the government for the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award. Rani is among the eight sportspersons who were selected for the Padma Awards on Saturday on the eve of the country’s 71st Republic Day. Six players including Rani will be honored with Padma Shri.
The twenty-five-year-old player tweeted, ” I am humbled and honoured to receive one of the highest civilian awards of our country #Padmashree I dedicate this award to my entire team & supporting staff. Elated & thankful to @KirenRijiju sir @TheHockeyIndia coach Baldev Sir, family, friends & fans for always supporting me.”
Later in a release issued by Hockey India Rani said, “the award is to honour Indian women’s hockey. We have progressed a lot in this game and I really believe that we can achieve better results than this.”
Rani, who has played more than 200 matches for India and recently she helped the country get the Tokyo Olympic quota, was also congratulated by Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju who tweeted that Rani has inspired the whole young Indian generation.
Sports Minister Rijiju tweeted, “Hearty Congratulations to Rani Rampal on being conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri! You have inspired the whole young Indian generation. Your efforts have taken Indian hockey to a new level. I’m so proud of your achievements!.”
Hockey India also congratulated the Indian skipper. Mohammed Mushtaq Ahmed, President of Hockey India, said, “She has been a ray of hope for Indian women who come from the difficult circumstances in which they are willing to achieve something on their own despite many difficulties. She has set an example in front of many and will continue to play a very important role in the team’s preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. ”
Other than Rani, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom will be given the country’s second-highest civilian award, while world champion shuttler PV Sindhu will receive the Padma Bhushan. Cricketer Zaheer Khan, former men’s hockey captain MP Ganesh, shooter Jeetu Rai, former Indian women’s soccer team captain Bembem Devi, and archer Tarundeep Rai will be given the Padma Shri.