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Top Athletes to attend Rashtrapati Bhavan functions

Top Athletes to attend Rashtrapati Bhavan functions

Shivansh Gupta

Published: 16 May 2019 11:45 AM GMT
When was the last time you saw the likes of paddler Manika Batra, athlete Neeraj Chopra, shooter Gagan Narang or cricketer Virat Kohli at the Rashtrapati Bhavan? It was when they were present to receive a prestigious award, right? Next time you see them under the same roof again, don’t be baffled! These famous sportspersons will be seen sharing the limelight again as per a new directive, which has been proposed by the President’s Secretariat, from the Ministry of Youth Affair and Sports to attend functions hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. TNN reported that the President’s Secretariat is expected to issue an order to the sports ministry to instruct the elite athletes to show up at important Rashtrapati Bhavan functions like the Independence Day, Republic Day and the State banquets hosted for Heads of States. Once the order is passed, these sportspersons will have to oblige to grace the occasions with their presence. The Secretariat has prepared a list of 20 sportspersons, which only includes Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards recipients, who will be asked to attend the State events 12 men and eight women athletes find their place in the list Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V Sindhu, archer Deepika Kumari, snooker champion Pankaj Advani, athletes Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das have been recommended. Moreover, boxer Mary Kom, woman’s cricket legend Jhulan Goswami, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Devendra Jhajharia, para athlete Deepa Malik, shooters Heena Sidhu, Jitu Rai and Gagan Narang, table tennis ace Manika Batra, tennis star Sania Mirza, wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Mirabai Chanu have also been included in the list. As per the TNN report, “Gender equality and fair representation of athletes” is concept that was kept in mind by the secretariat while putting together the list. According to the officials, the primary objective of this idea is to present India’s growing sporting prowess before the rest of the world and the foreign dignitaries that would be attending such important functions at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The main deterrent here is whether all these public icons would be able to present themselves at the same time on the same day. Since, most of these sportspersons are based out of Delhi and may have travelled abroad, their availability would also be under a cloud of doubt. The Ministry, in response, mentioned that they have kept these factors in mind while proposing this directive and the list and that whoever is available will have to attend the functions.
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