Ministry to recommend Saina's name

Ministry to recommend Saina's name

Ministry to recommend Saina's name

Saina Nehwal finally had her way with the Sports Ministry on Monday deciding to recommend her as a “special case” to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award.

Saina had expressed her disappointment on the social networking website twitter on being ignored by the Sports Ministry as a nominee for the award on Sunday.  
The Ministry, though, maintained that they received her nomination from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) only on Saturday (January 3), much after the proposed deadline.

“The Ministry has since received the nomination of Ms Saina Nehwal for Padma Bhushan on 3rd January, 2015 from the Badminton Association of India.  In view of the achievements of Ms Saina Nehwal, the Department of Sports has decided to recommend her case for Padma Bhushan to the Ministry of Home Affairs as a special case although the last date for making the recommendation is long over,” a Sports Ministry release stated on Monday.

An elated Saina, was quick to thank Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. “I would like to thank you so much sir for recommending my name for the Padma Bhushan honour . You are a great support to all the sportspersons,” she tweeted.

She, however, said she never demanded the award. “Who am I to demand for the award. I am nobody. I am a sportsperson. I play for my country. I just wanted to know why my name was not considered. I just wanted the eligible players' name to be considered. Finally what the panel decides is what I am going to respect,” said Saina.

The Ministry had invited nominations for the Padma Awards on May 1, 2014, the last date for forwarding nominations to MHA being September 15, 2014. The BAI on the other hand, stated that they had sent Saina’s nominations on August 9, 2014.  The Ministry said it had nominated the two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar for the award based on his stupendous performances.

Later, Sonowal clarified that this incident should not be taken as precedence. “My intention is to encourage sportsperson in the country and to promote sport.  With that sole intention we have decided to recommend her name. To be honest I have received a letter only on Saturday. Immediately after landing in Delhi, that is today, we have discussed the matter in detail and recommended her name.”