New Delhi: Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal on Saturday thanked all her fans for their support after Sports Ministry decided to reject her application for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year, citing norms.
Saina was left disappointed with news of her exclusion and shared her sentiments regarding the issue on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The 24-year-old received messages of support and encouragement from all her fans after media outlets picked up the news.
Overwhelmed by the response, Saina took to Twitter to thank everyone.
Thank u friends for ur love and support ...
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) January 3, 2015
Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended Saina's name for the award to the Sports Ministry in August last year but the ministry picked two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar as it felt he was a more deserving candidate.
"I heard that Sushil Kumar's name was sent for Padma award as a special case, while my name was not sent to Ministry of home affairs by sports ministry. The ministry guidelines says that there needs to be a gap of five years between two Padma awards. So if they can send his name, why they didn't recommend my name as I have completed the five years gap. I felt bad about it," Saina, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010, said.
The 24-year-old claimed that her application was rejected last year also on similar grounds but this year, the ministry decided to recommend Sushil's name even though he has not completed the five-year norm after being bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2011.
"Last year when I had sent my file for the Padma Bhushan award, the ministry said 'No Saina you can't apply this year because you have to complete five years for this.' So I again applied this year for the award. So why my name was not recommended this year?," she asked.
With agency inputs