Yash Aradhya S of Bengaluru became the first Indian motorsports player to receive the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar award from President Ram Nath Kovind when he was awarded on Wednesday. Yash was one of three individuals to receive the award at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Pragun Pudukoli from Karnataka received the award under the Arts and Culture category, while Suneetha Murje Prabhu from the State received the award under the Innovation division. The award is given to children for excellence in the fields of social service, innovation, sports, arts and culture, scholastic and bravery. It comes with a medal, citation, certificate and a cash award of INR 1 lakh.
Yash, aged 17 years, has won 13 motorsports championships, 12 awards and has 65 podium finishes to his name. Hailing from a humble family, the teenager started his career by taking part in the JK Tyre Go-karting Championship in 2012 and eventually made it to Formula Racing.
“I thank the Government for considering me worthy of this award and I humbly accept it. It is a great honour to receive the award from the Honourable President of India. I have been working really hard and after attaining considerable success at both the international and national circuit, it is gratifying to be bestowed with this recognition,” Yash said after the ceremony.
Yash made his debut in the Formula-4 South East Asia Championship in 2019. He has also participated in the CIK FIA Academy Trophy that was held in 2015 in Belgium, Spain and France. The Indian was also nominated by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) to turn out for the nation in the Rotax World Finals in Portugal in 2017.
In 2019, Yash turned out in the FIA Motorsport Games that was staged in Rome.