Indian women have been scaling new heights in the field of sports and bringing laurels to the country in the last few years. The ZEE News FAIRPLAY - a special day for women achievers in the field of sports - has recognised and honoured the special achievement and extraordinary feats by Indian women in the field of sports. The ZEE News FAIRPLAY is about inspiration, which is the key to everything we do.
Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subhash Chandra expressed his happiness at women sportspersons basking in the limelight. "It is great pleasure for me that Zee Media is felicitating sportswomen. Women are more powerful and dedicated than men. In our society, the men have always looked down upon women. But women are not weak. We will strive to bring more sportswomen forward," said Dr Chandra.
List of Awardees:
Sania Mirza: The girl from Hyderabad showed the world that Indian women tennis players can compete with the best. Sania Mirza played in singles, doubles and mixed doubles events, and became the World Number 1 women's doubles player. She retired from singles in 2013. She became the highest-ranked Indian women player ever when she achieved the World Number 27 in 2007. She represented India in three Olympics - 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio. The government has conferred on her the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Bhushan.
Saina Nehwal: The 28-year-old is a household name and synonymous with women badminton in the country. She is a former World Number 1 and has represented India in three Olympics - Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. She won the bronze medal at the London Olympics. She has over 23 international titles in her kitty. The government has honoured her with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and the Padma Bhushan.
Anjali Bhagwat: The rifle shooter is the first Indian to win at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Champion of Champions combined-air-rifle event when she emerged victorious in the 2002 edition. Anjali was the World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002 and won her first World Cup Final in Milan, in 2003. Anjali has represented India in three consecutive Olympics. She was a wildcard entry in the 2000 Sydney Olympics but reached the final, a first for an Indian woman shooter. She dominated Commonwealth Games in the 10m Air Rifle and Sports Rifle 3P events and won 12 gold and four silver medals. She has won 31 gold, 23 silver and seven bronze medals in international competitions.
PV Sindhu: Another Hyderabad link to women sports, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is the second badminton player after Saina to achieve success on the world stage. She won the silver medal at 2016 Rio Olympics, a first for an Indian woman. She and Saina are the only two Indian badminton players to ever win an Olympic medal. She has been consistently ranked among the top five women badminton players in the world and has defeated every top-ranked player.
Krishna Poonia: Born in Haryana's Agroha village in 1982, Krishna Poonia is a discus thrower. She won the bronze in 2006 Doha Asian Games and gold in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. She has been honoured with Padma Shri in 2011. She has represented India in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games.
Deepa Malik: She is the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games when she bagged silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics in the shot put. She also has a gold medal in F-53/54 Javelin event at the para athletic Grand Prix held in Dubai in 2018. Coming from the defence background - her father is Colonel (retd) BK Nagpal and husband is Colonel Bikram Singh - she is currently the World Number one in F-53 category. She has been honoured with the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.
Dipa Karmakar: She is the first Indian woman to represent the country at an Olympic Games in gymnastics when she took part in the 2016 Rio Games. The girl from Agartala is also the first Indian gymnast to do so after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. She finished a credible fourth in Women's Vault event at Rio. Dipa Karmakar is one of the only five women who have successfully landed the Produnova, the most difficult vault currently performed in women's gymnastics. She has been honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri.
Karnam Malleswari: The former Indian woman weightlifter is the first in the history of Indian Olympics to win a medal. The woman from Andhra Pradesh received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1995 and Padma Shri in 1999.
Anju Bobby George: She was a heptathlon athlete to begin with but soon moved to long jump. The 41-year-old made history when she won the long jump bronze medal at the 2003 Paris World Athletics Championships. It was the first time that an Indian athlete had won a medal in a World Athletics Championships. She also bagged the gold at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2005. She took part in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games, She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2002.
Sakshi Malik: The freestyle wrestler won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 58 kg category. She is the first female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics for India and only the fourth female Olympic medallist from the country. She has also won the silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2015 Doha Asian Wrestling Championships.
MC Mary Kom: Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom has achieved what no other Indian sportsperson has. The boxer from Manipur is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion. She is also the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the flyweight (51 kg) category. She was nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha on April 26, 2016. She has been honoured by the Padma Bhushan, Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Sunil Dabas: Not a very popular name, Sunil Dabas's contribution in no less. She has coached the Indian national female Kabbadi team. Her team has won gold medals in the 2010 Asian Games and the 2012 World Cup 2012.She was honoured with the Dronacharya Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2014.
Indian Women Cricket Team: From the time India's women's cricket came under the wings of BCCI, the team has turned a new chapter of success. The Indian team ended up runners-up in the 2017 World Cup in England, losing the final by a narrow margin. Recently, India won the T20 series 3-1 in South Africa and players such as Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana became role models for many a young player. Mithali has also been the highest run-scorer in ODI cricket. Harmanpreet and Mandhana have showcased their talent in the Australian Big Bash League too. Harmanpreet has impressed the Aussies with her six-hitting ability.
Indian Women Hockey Team: Led by Rani Rampal, the hockey team recently lifted the Asia Cup for the first time after 2004. While they might still struggle at the world stage, the Indian team has been unparalleled in the Asian circuit. In 2016, the team won their first Asian Champions Trophy and finished the season on a strong note. In the last Asiad, the team won the bronze medal. The team has won gold in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, ended runners-up in 2006 and finished in top five in 2010 and 2014. With the FIH World Cup going to be played later this year, the in-form team has qualified and are touted as a strong contender.
Union minister for information and broadcasting Smriti Zubin Irani, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State Telecom and Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel graced the occasion. The glittering function took place at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi.