PM Narendra Modi declared that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will now be retitled as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
“The Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award admiring the sentiments of citizens across the nation,” PM Modi announced.
Modi stated he had been getting many appeals from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand.
“Admiring their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be renamed the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award! Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s premier sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting prestige will be named after him,” he tweeted.
“Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s premier sportspersons who brought respect and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting prestige will be named after him,” he added in another tweet.
The exceptional activity of the men’s and women’s Hockey Team has caught the imagination of our entire nation, the prime minister said, adding that there is a renewed interest towards the sport that is dilating across India. This is very encouraging for the coming times, he said.
PM Modi has been following the sporting action in Tokyo and has so far personally complimented all of India’s 5 Olympic medalists. He has also invited the Indian team to the Red Fort on August 15.
Dhyan Chand himself has been awarded with several honours, including India’s third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956. Additionally, the Government of India also celebrates his birthday on August 29 as National Sports Day.
Responding to the news, Indian men’s hockey team captain, who drove his team to a Bronze medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics, Manpreet Singh told CNN News18 Exclusively:” Dhyanchand declaration is a huge moment for hockey and India.”
“A medal has changed a lot for us. As players, it means a lot to us,” Gurjant Singh told CNN News.