Celebrated Indian mountaineer Bachendri Pal has been announced as the winner of the country's the second highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan. The government announced the winners of Padma awardees for 2019 on the eve of the 70th Republic Day.
Beside the 64-year-old, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir and Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri will also receive the Padma Shri awards.
In 1984, Pal became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Others sportsperson to receive the Padma Shri are – Harika Dronavalli (Chess), Prashanti Singh (Basketball), Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis), Bombayla Laishram (Archery), Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi).
The Padma Shri is the fourth-highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
While Gambhir played crucial roles in India's 2007 World Twenty20 and 2011 World Cup victories, Bajrang clinched gold at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018. The Haryana wrestler also is a World Championship silver and bronze medallist.
The Indian football captain Chhetri is country's most capped player also holds its centre together. Chhetri scored impressive 67 goals from 107 international appearances.
The government conferred Padma awards to 112 people this year -- 4 Padma Vibushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri.
(With Agency inputs)
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