India Sports

Dhyan Chand Award

Sports have been a very important part of the Indian society since time immemorial and a lot of indoor and outdoor games that we are familiar with are supposed to have been started here. Every region, state or union territory has some game or sport of its own. To promote these events and activities different awards are initiated by the government and Dhyan Chand Award is one of them.

As a sporting nation, India does not rank high in the world and our performance at Olympics has always been very dismal. We end up getting just a few medals at this global event and sometimes our country, which is the second most populous country in the world returns empty handed. But, India is on the world map in the games like cricket, hockey, badminton, wrestling, shooting, boxing, carom, snooker and chess.

Dhyan Chand Award is the highest sports award in India, which is given by the government of India for lifetime achievement in sports. Dhyan Chand was a legendary Indian hockey player, when India used to be a world champion in hockey. Dhyan Chand Award was introduced lately in 2002. The Award includes a prize of Rs. 5 lakh, a statuette ceremonial dress and a scroll of honor. Every year this award is given to not more than three players but considering the present year, the year of Olympic Games, four sportspersons have been selected for this prestigious award.

This is bestowed to honor those sports personalities, who have contributed to sports by their excellent performance in the past and they are continuing to contribute to the promotion of sports even after they retire from their sporting career. The award is also aimed to motivate individuals, who have dedicated their entire lifetime to sports and its promotion and also those who have contributed in broad-basing and development of excellence in sports.

Dhyan Chand Award can be provided to those sportspersons who have a consistent record of excellent performance in national or international sports arena for at least three years. In addition to that, the individual should also have continued to contribute to promotion of sports individually even after retiring from an active sporting career. A sportsperson is expected to have the attributes of sportsmanship, leadership, and discipline, so that he can be cited as an example to follow. This award can also be given to the individuals and the NGOs, who have helped the sports grow, broad-base, and attain a certain level of excellence over 20 years or more.

However, to be eligible to receive this highest recognition, the sportspersons are not supposed to be detected positive for use of banned drugs in any of the laboratory accredited by International Olympic Committee. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports starts inviting nominations for this award from reputed sports bodies such as all recognized National Sports Federations recognized by the Government of India, Indian Olympic Association and State/Union Territory Governments from as early as January every year.

Apart from these statutory bodies and agencies, the right to nominate one eligible sportsperson for the coveted Dhyan Chand Award is also provided to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees of the previous years. Furthermore, up to three eligible sportspersons can be nominated for this award by Director General, Sports Authority of India.

All these nominations are received by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports along with the necessary documents such as the attached application form and records of the past performance of the aspiring athletes in domestic or International sports events. The decision of the award is taken by a selection committee appointed by the Government of India, which is reconstituted every year. The Committee is headed by a chairperson and other eight members, who are often the former leading sportspersons.

At the time of the awards distribution ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhawan, the awards will only be conferred to the awardees, which are present in the auditorium. The authorities do not allow persons other than the awardees to receive the award or prize money on behalf of the designated sportspersons at the awards ceremony. The awardees, who are not able to make it to Rashtrapati Bhawan on the National Sports Day, can receive the same later on from the Minister-in-Charge for Youth Affairs and Sports.

Last Updated on 9/11/2012