“Why I’m Being Ignored?”: Poonam Rani asks after being overlooked for Arjuna Award

Indian women’s Hockey Team player, Poonam Rani on Sunday expressed her disappointment after not being included for the prestigious Arjuna Award despite performing well for the country.

I am trying for the Arjuna Award for the last three years. All of my fellow players have received it but I am being ignored. I feel bad because I am also one of the players who work hard and perform for the country. If I don’t have an approach, it doesn’t mean I can’t be conferred with Arjuna Award,” Rani told ANI.

Other hockey players Deepika and Akashdeep Singh were given preference for this year Arjuna award. A total number of 27 athletes were selected for the prestigious award this year which also includes the name of  Indian women’s team hockey skipper Rani Rampal who will be conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year.

Poonam also stressed that the National Selection Committee is not selecting players for these prominent awards based on their performances but based on Favoritism.

I think that there is favoritism and the committee is not playing fair because, for the past three years, my name is being ignored. Getting a medal in a team game is not an easy task. The players who have got the award, I am happy for them but the committee should have recommended other deserving players as well,” she said.

Arjuna award being one of the prestigious sports awards carries a cash prize, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll.

I think the number of awards in team games should be increased so that good players can also receive the awards. I am also one of the players of the team that has played many tournaments. Others have got the award but not me. I am also deserving, why I am being ignored?” Rani added.

However Indian women’s Hockey team is equally complementing men’s hockey at International circuit by their back to back triumphs at FIH series finals and TOKYO Test 2020 event by climbing one position up in the ranking as they are currently placed at 9th Position which is a good sign for women’s hockey as this will inspire lot of young girls out there to pick this sport as a profession and bring laurels for the country.