President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday presented the Padma Shri awards at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Wrestler Sakshi Malik, Discus Thrower Vikas Gowda and Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu were among the sportstars to be conferred with the award.
The Padma Awards are awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of life including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Affairs.
23-year-old Dipa had created history when she became the first Indian gymnast to enter the final on her debut at the quadrennial multi-discipline games after finishing eighth in the qualifying round. Hailing from Tripura, she is the first woman gymnast from India to qualify for the Olympics. However, she ranked an impressive fourth position in the women’s vault finals in Rio de Janeiro.
Sakshi, on the other hand, won the bronze medal in the 58 kg category at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu also won a gold at the Rio Parlaympics.
Earlier in the month of January, a list of 89 people was approved by the President for some exceptional work in various fields.