Uri film director Aditya Dhar, cricketer Umran Malik, and top tennis player Ankita Raina were among 32 people selected for the government awards in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
The award announced as part of the 74th Republic Day also included Deepak Kumar and Saroj Bala, who were killed fighting terrorists during an attack in Dhangri village in Rajouri district on January 1. The two have been selected for award in the field of bravery. Bashir Bhaderwahi, a noted literary personality and prolific writer in Kashmiri and Urdu language, Ustad Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh, who made significant contribution in the development of Kashmiri Sufi classical music, Vijay Kumar Sambyal, an Indian classical maestro, and Ramesh Hangloo, who founded Radio Sharda to promote Kashmiri language, music, and culture, were conferred with the Lifetime achievement awards, according to an order issued by the administration.
In performing arts, Union Territory selected actor Vidyut Jamwal, writer director Aditya Dhar, film director Mir Sarwar, and Kashmiri folk singer Noor Mohammad for the award. Currently India's number one tennis player Ankita Raina, whose family comes from South Kashmir, cricketer, known as 'Jammu express', Umran Malik, and footballer Ishan Pandita, were amon those selected as outstanding sportspersons for the award.
Inshah Bashir (Basketball-Wheel Chair player), Ayeera Hassan Chisti (Wushu), Soham Kamotra (Chess), Rahul Jangral (Mountaineering), Muskan Rana (Gymnastics), Kritarthi Kotwal (Fencing), and Mannat Choudhary (Volley ball) were the other sportspersons selected for the award. Dhian Singh (Writer), Rajeshwar Singh Raju (Hindi and Dogri writer), Dr Neelam Sarin (Hindi and Dogri writer), Ghulam Nabi Haleem (Kashmiri author), and Nisar Rahi (Pahari writer) were selected for the award in the field of literature.
Sculptor Ravinder Jamwal was awarded for excellence in arts & crafts, while Ravinder Pandita (Save Sharda Committee) was for social reforms & empowerment. Daily Excelsior Special Correspondent Nishikant Khajuria, Tejinder Singh- Editor News18, Sominder Koul - Bureau Chief ANI, and Emmad Makdoomi from Greater Kashmir, got the award as outstanding media persons. The life time award carries a cash award of Rs 1 lakh, while other award carry Rs 51,000 cash, a medal, and a citation.