New Delhi: Rio Paralympics silver medalist Deepa Malik is still upset after being ignored for the prestigious Khel Ratna award. This year the award was presented to two-time Paralympic gold medalist- Devendra Jhajharia and former India hockey captain Sardar Singh.
But, Deepa feels that an exception could have been made by the awards committee, just like it had done so in 2016.
“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 the Press Trust of India.
As many as four sportspersons were bestowed with the country’s highest sporting honour in 2016- shuttler PV Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, wrestler Sakshi Malik and shooter Jitu Rai were all awarded.
She will have to wait till October 2018 to compete, as the Commonwealth Games early next year will not feature her event. She will next be seen Para Asian Games to be held in October, but she is hopeful that her performance there can earn her the prestigious award.
“May (be) at the Asian Games I will break the world record and then they will have to give me Khel Ratna,” said Malik in a confident tone.
However, despite the ignorance, the 2012 Arjuna Awardee is full of positive vibes. She says, “I still don’t feel negative. Sports has given me a lot. More than I thought it would.”
The 47-year-old was also honoured with the Padma Shri this year and has 58 national and 18 international medals across all competitions.
Many awards were promised to her for her achievements in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, but not all of them have been fulfilled.
Disappointed, she said, “Madhya Pradesh government has written back to us saying they will honour us during their state awards.”
“But we have not yet heard anything from Delhi Golf Club. The club had announced it but they have not approached us yet,” she concluded.