New Delhi: Rio Paralympics silver medalist Deepa Malik will be honoured with the ‘M G Mehta Human Spirit’ award, at a ceremony to be held on November 21 at the Y B Chavan Auditorium in south Mumbai. Also Read - Promise to Bring Many More Laurels to The Country: Rohit Sharma After Khel Ratna Honour
The award apart from a cash award of Rs 1 lakh consists of a citation as well. Also Read - Final List Out; Rohit Sharma, Vinesh Phogat Among Five Athletes to Receive Khel Ratna
The award, which has been previously won by Padma Shri awardee Arunima Sinha, the first Indian woman amputee to scale Mount Everest in 2013, and paralympic cyclist Aditya Mehta, has been instituted by the Ratna Nidhi Trust. Also Read - India's Medal Count Will be in Double Digits at Tokyo Paralympics: Deepa Malik
“I look forward to receiving this award. Ratna Nidhi’s work for persons with disabilities has been massive and at a global scale. Their founder Mahendrabhai Mehta was a beacon of light. This award, in his memory is absolutely priceless,” Malik said in a statement.
Malik was honoured with the Padma Shri earlier this year and Arjuna Award in 2012.
“We chose Deepa Malik for the ‘M G Mehta Human Spirit’ award, for her exemplary achievements. We confer this every year around World Disability Day (observed on December 3) to a deserving individual who is a role model to persons with disabilities in India,” trustee of Ratna Nidhi Trust, Rajiv Mehta said.
Meanwhile, Malik remains upset over being ignored for Khel Ratna this year and feels exception should have been made by the awards committee, like it had done in 2016.
The Khel Ratna was awarded to two-time Paralympic gold medallist, Devendra Jhajharia, and former India hockey captain Sardar Singh in August.
However, as many as four were awarded the country’s highest sporting honour in the Olympic year — shuttler PV Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, wrestler Sakshi Malik and shooter Jitu Rai, who flopped in the Rio Olympics but was rewarded for his consistent performances at world events.
“They gave to all four last year. They could have done something similar this time. However, I will continue to apply and they will have to give me sooner than later. Anyway the rule is that my performance over four years will be taken into consideration,” Malik told PTI.
(With PTI inputs)