Deepa Malik furious over Khel Ratna snub, expresses her frustration on Facebook
What's the story?
India's journey at the Paralympics last summer was nothing short of incredible. Devendra Jhajharia won a gold medal in the men's javelin throw F46 event, which was followed by a silver by Deepa Malik in the women's shot put F53, which made her the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics.
However, yesterday it was revealed that Deepa would not be felicitated with the Khel Ratna award, following which she took to Facebook to express her shock at not being recommended for the ultimate sporting honour in the country.
"I want Indians to answer ..And Indians to question about this discrimination regarding Khel Ratna..Rio Olympic Silver Bronze n Fourth got it ... Was my Paralympic Silver any less??" she asked on the social media forum.
In case you didn't know...
Deepa Malik was also part of the Indian contingent of para-athletes who recently participated in the World Para Athletics Championships in London and she was among the finalists in the women's shot put event in her category.
Malik, however, could not finish on the podium and it was Bahrain's Fatema Nedham, who won the gold.
The heart of the matter
Along with Devendra Jhajharia, Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh was nominated for the prestigious Khel Ratna award.
The Arjuna awardee list was also revealed and 17 prominent sports persons including Cheteshwar Pujara (Cricket) and SV Sunil (Hockey) were nominated for the honour. The other two Indian medalists in Rio, Varun Singh Bhati and Mariyappan Thangavelu, were named among the 17 as well.
Deepa Malik herself was presented with the Arjuna Award in 2012 for her contribution to sport and has even received the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour.
The reaction on Facebook was uncharacteristic of Deepa Malik as she is well respected around the country for her achievements and ability to guide the younger athletes to perform their best without worrying about the honours they will collect.
Her post gathered a lot of support on social media and fans continue to chime in with their agreement with her on the matter.
While the list of awardees definitely deserve their spot, Deepa should have been in contention for the top prize at the very least. One can only hope that this motivates her to perform even better and bring home more medals for the nation.