Rio Paralympics silver-medallist Deepa Malik and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have requested the Sports Ministry to reconsider her omission from this year’s Khel Ratna award’s list.
In a letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar wrote, “I am of the considered opinion that prestigious Khel Ratna award should be conferred on Deepa Malik. I, therefore, request to you to kindly consider her name for Khel Ratna.”
It may be recalled here that Deepa Malik had spoken to the indinaexpress.com and expressed surprise at her omission. She also revealed that she was heartbroken at the omission while the other three medal-winning para-athletes (of Rio 2016) found a place in the elite list.
“I am sure there was a competent authority there. So am I not defying the committee which has probably come to a conclusion. But I am surprised that despite being the first woman to bag an athletics medal in the Paralympics last year why did they choose to omit me. I am confused and what just happened was not expected. I am sure they must have seen something.” she said,
“I have complete regards and honour for what my fellow athletes have achieved. But why my effort was not considered at par is my question. Is my silver not good enough? I am not questioning the decision but it is heartbreaking. It is not something that I can ask for but I do feel left out on the bandwagon of Rio medallists.”, she further added.
Meanwhile, a member of the selection committee, on condition of anonymity said, “Look, Mariyappan Thangavelu had also won gold in Rio but still not chosen for Khel Ratna, he was given Arjuna. For Jhajharia, it was his second Paralympics gold, we could not ignore him”.
However, it does not seem like the sports ministry will make any further changes. This was after a Sports ministry official said, “We want to stick to what the panel has recommended. We will make public the names of the award winners very soon.”