(Last Updated on : 07/01/2011)
Arjuna Awards in India were introduced for recognising the exceptional accomplishments of the players in National sports. Arjuna Awards were introduced by the Government of India
in the year 1961. Arjuna Award includes a bronze statue of Arjuna, a scroll and a cash reward of Rs. 500,000. In India, there are a lot of sports that have been considered as the mainstream or most popular sports. Amongst these sports Athletics, Hockey, Cricket, Football, Boxing, Chess, Basketball, Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Swimming, Volleyball, Shooting, etc. are the leading. However, there are some other sports as well that might not be that much popular but that have been played in India for quite a very long period of time. Some of these are Equestrian, Rowing, Cycling, Rowing, Gymnastics, Archery, Judo, Golf, Kabaddi, Carom, Billiards and Snooker etc.
In the recent times, Government of India has modified the scheme for the Arjuna Award. The revised guidelines states that a sportsperson will be considered eligible for receive the Arjuna Award if that player has shown sportsmanship, leadership, discipline qualities. Further, that sportsman should have had a good performance record constantly at the international level for the past three years.
Arjuna Awards in Swimming
In the year 1961, the first winner of Arjuna Award in swimming was Jam. Bajarangi Prasad. Other achievers were Rima Datta (1966), Arun Shaw (1967), Baidyanath Nath (1969), Bhanwar Singh (1971), D. (Tingoo) Khatau (1973), A.B. Sarang (1974), Manjari Bhargava (1974), M.S. Rana (1975), Smita Desai (1975), Persis Madan (1982), Anita Sood (1983), Khajan Singh (1984), Wilson Cherian (1988), Bula Choudhury (1990), V. Kutraleeshwaran (1996), Bhanu Sachdeva (1998), Nisha Millet (1999), Sebastian Xavier (2000), J. Abhijith (2000) and Shikha Tandon (2005).
Arjuna Awards in Volleyball
A. Palaniswamy became the first volleyball player of India to be the winner of the Arjuna Award. Other winners of this prestigious award are Nripjit Singh, Balwant Singh `Ballu`, G.M. Reddy, M.S. Rao, Sub. Insp. R. Singh, K.C. Elamma, Jimmy George, A. Ramana Rao, Kutty Krishnan, S.K. Mishra, G.E. Sridharan, R.K. Purohit, Saley Joseph, Cyril C. Valloor, Abdul Basith, Dalel Singh Ror, K. Udaya Kumar, Sukhpal Singh, P.V. Ramana and Ravikant Reddy.
Arjuna Awards in Boxing
The winners list of the honourable `Arjuna Award` comprises the names of a good number of boxers. Some of the names are L. Buddy D` Souza, Hav. P. Badadur Mal, Hawa Singh, Hav. Dennis Swamy, Hav. Muniswamy Venu, Hav. Chandranarayanan, Hav. Mehatab Singh, B.S. Thapa, C.C. Machaiah, B. Singh, Issac Amaldas, Hav. G. Manoharan, Hav. Kaur Singh, Jas Lal Pradhan, Jai Pal Singh, Seeva Jayaram, Gopal Dewang, D.S. Yadav, Rajender Prasad, Manoj Pingale, Mukund Killekar, V. Devarajan, Raj Kumar Sangwan, N.G. Dingko Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Jitender Kumar, Mohammed Ali Qamar, Ms. Mangte Chungneijang Marykom, Akhil Kumar, Vijender Kumar, Verghese Johnson and L. Sarita Devi.
Arjuna Awards in Wrestling
The wrestlers made their debut in the winners list of the esteemed Arjuna Award in the very first year of the award`s journey. The names of some of the winners are G. Andalkar, Bishamber Singh, Bhim Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Master Chandgi Ram, Sudesh Kumar, Prem Nath, Jagroop Singh, Satpal, Rajinder Singh, Jagminder Singh, Kartar Singh, Mahabir Singh, Subhash, Rajesh Kumar, Satywan, Ombir Singh, Pappu Yadav, Ashok Kumar, Jagdish Singh, Sanjay Kumar, Kaka Pawar, Rohtas Singh Dahiya, Ashok Kumar, Randhir Singh, Kripa Shakar Patel, K.D. Jadhav, Naresh Kumar, Palwinder Singh Cheema, Sujeet Mann, Shokhinder Tomar, Anuj Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Geetika Jakhar, Alka Tomar and Yogeshwar Dutt.
Arjuna Awards in Weightlifting
The first weightlifter to win the award in the history was A.N. Ghosh who won it in 1961. He was followed by L.K. Dass and K.E. Rao who won the award in the years of 1962 and 1963 respectively. After them, B.S. Bhatia became successful to win the award in 1965 and Mohan Lal Ghosh won it in 1966. Other winners of Arjuna Award are S. John Gabriel, Arun Kumar Dass, S.L. Salwan, Anil Kumar Mandal, S. Vellaiswamy, Dalbir Singh, K. Balamuruganandam, M.T. Selvan, E. Karaunakaran, B.K. Satpathy, Tara Singh, Vispy K. Daroga, Mehar Chand Bhaskar, Jag Mohan Sapra, G. Devan, Jyotsna Dutta, R. Chandra, N. Kunjarani, Chhaya Adak, Bharati Singh, K. Malleswari, Paramjit Sharma, N. Laxmi, Satheesha Rai, Dalbir Singh, Sanamacha Chanu Thingbaijan, Thandava Murthy Muthu and Geeta Rani.
Arjuna Awards in Shooting
Like the other two very famous sports of Athletics and Hockey in India, Shooting also started its journey in the winners list of the award from the very first year of the award`s inception. In the year of 1961, Karni Singh became the first shooter of the country to win the Arjuna Award. However, there was a huge gap of 7 years after his winning the award and again in the year of 1968 Rajyashree Kumari broke the dead lock for the shooters by winning it. Other winners are Bhuvaneshwari Kumari, Bhim Singh, Udyan Chinubhai, Randhir Singh, S. P. Chauhan, Mohinder Lal, Soma Dutta, A. J. Pandit, Bhagirath Samai, Mansher Singh, Jaspal Rana, Moraad A. Khan, Satendra Kumar, Shilpi Singh, Manavjit Singh, Roopa Unnikrishnan, Vivek Singh, Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat, Abhinav Bindra, Gurbir Singh, Anwer Sultan, Suma Shirur, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Deepali A. Deshpande, Gagan Narang, Vijay Kumar, Avneet Kaur Sidhu and Ronjan Sodhi.
Arjuna Awards in Hockey
The game of Hockey has been amongst the greatest sports of India and the number of awardees is quite evident of this fact. In 1961, N. Lumsden and P. Singh became the winners of the award. However, there was a gap in the years 1962 and in 1963, Charanjit Singh won the award and started the run again. After S. Laxman received the award in the year of 1964, E. Britto and Udham Singh jointly won the award in 1965. The names of other winners are Gurbaksh Singh, Harbinder Singh, Mohinder Lal, Balbir Singh Kular, Ajit Pal Singh, P. Krishnamurthy, Michael Kindo, Rajbir Kaur, S. Maney, Prem Maya Sonir, M. M. Somaya, J.M. Carvalho, M. P. Singh, Pargat Singh, Jagbir Singh, Devesh Chauhan, Suraj Lata Devi, Deepak Thakur, Viren Rasquinha, Jyoti Sunita Kullu, Prabhjot Singh, Surinder Kaur, Ignace Tirkey and many more.
Arjuna Awards in Athletics
The field of Athletics has almost dominated the winners list of the honourable Arjuna Award. Names of some of the winners are Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, Tarlok Singh, Stephie D`Souza, Makhan Singh, Kenneth Powell, Ajmer Singh, B. S. Barua, Praveen Kumar, Bhim Singh, Joginder Singh, Shakti Singh, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, Ajit Bhaduria, Padmini Thomas, Rachita Mistry, Paramjit Singh, Gulab Chand, Gurmit Kaur, Sunita Rani, Anju Bobby George, Saraswati Saha, Soma Biswas, Madhuri Saxena, Anil Kumar, Manjit Kaur, Rajinder Singh Rahelu (Physically Challenged), K. M. Binu, Chitra K. Soman, Sinimol Paulose and more.
Arjuna Awards in Table Tennis
The game of Table Tennis is amongst those games that are played at the state as well as the National level. Some of the Arjuna Award table tennis players are J.C. Vohra, G. R. Deewan, U. Sundararaj, F. R. Khodaiji, Mir Kasim Ali, G. Jagannath, K. F. Khodaiji, N. R. Bajaj, S. Shailja, Indu Puri, Manjit Dua, V. Chandrasekhar, Kamlesh Mehta, Monalisa Barua, Niyati Shah, M. S. Walia, Chetan Baboor, Subramaniam Raman, Mantu Ghosh, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Soumyadeep Roy, Subhajit Saha and Poulomi Ghatak.
Arjuna Awards in Badminton
The first successful Badminton players to win the award was N.M. Natekar who won it in 1961 and Ms. Meena Shah followed him to win it in the very next year in 1962. Other winners are Dinesh Khanna, Suresh Goel, Dipu Ghosh, D. V. Tambay, S. Moorthy, Prakash Padukone, Raman Ghosh, Davinder Ahuja, Ami Ghia, Syed Modi, P. Ganguli, Madhumita Bisht, Rajeev Bagga, Pullela Gopichand, George Thomas, Madasu Srinivas Rao (Physically Challenged), Abhinn Shyam Gupta, Aparna Popat, Chetan Anand, Anup Sridhar and Saina Nehwal.
Arjuna Awards in Basketball
In spite of having a weak position in India, Basketball produced a good number of Arjuna Award winners. The journey of the game in the winners list of the prestigious Arjuna Award started in 1961 when Sarbjit Singh won it. After him, Khushi Ram won the award in 1967 and Naib Sub. Gurdial Singh, Hav. Hari Dutt, Gulam Abbas Moontasir and Pilot Officer Man Mohan Singh followed him very successfully to win the award in the years of 1968 to 1971 respectively. S. K. Kataria, A.K. Punj, Hanuman Singh, T. Vijayaragavan, Om Prakash, Ajmer Singh, Radhey Shyam, Ms. S Sharma and Sajjan Singh Cheema are other winners of Arjuna Award.
Arjuna Awards in Tennis
Ramanathan Krishnan was the first Tennis player in India who won the "Arjuna Award" in the year of 1961. Naresh Kumar, Jaidip Mukerjea, Premjit Lall, Vijay Amritraj, Nirupama Mankad, Ramesh Krishnan, Anand Amritraj, Leander Paes
, Mahesh Bhupathi
, Gaurav Natekar, Asif Ismail, Akhtar Ali, and Sania Mirza
Arjuna Awards in Yachting
The game of Yachting started its journey in the winners list of the `Arjuna Award` from the year of 1970, a little late in comparison to most of the other games. Lt. Cdr. S.J. Contractor was the very first winner of the award on behalf of all the Yachting players to win it in 1970. Afsar Hussain, Cdr. S. K. Mongia, Zarir Karanjia, Farokh Tarapore, Fali Unwalla, Jeeja Unwalla, Lt. Dhruv Bhandari, C. S. Pradipak, P. K. Garg, Aashim Mongia, Nitin Mongia and Girdhari Lal Yadav are other winners in this field.
Arjuna Awards in Equestrian
In the game of Equestrian, the players have been quite successful in winning the Arjuna Award in comparison to the other off bit sports. This very game has produced nine Arjuna Award winners so far that started from the year of 1973 when Dafadar Khan M. Khan won the award. After him Lt. Col. H.S. Sodhi won the award in 1976. Then in 1982, two Equestrian players named as Maj. R. Singh Brar and Raghubir Singh jointly won the award. Capt. G. Mohd. Khan became the winner in the year of 1984 and in 1987 the award was won by Maj. J.S. Ahluwalia. Then Capt. Adhiraj Singh won the award in 1991 and there was a gap of 12 years after this win. In 2003, Capt. Rajesh Pattu became the winner and Maj. Deep Kumar Ahlawat followed him to become the winner of the award in the very next year and he also became the last winner so far on behalf of the Equestrian players.
Arjuna Awards in Rowing
The game of Rowing is another off bit sport of India. This very game also has quite a few representatives in the winners list of the Arjuna Award that counts to eight. The Rowing players started their campaign to the winners list of the award in the year of 1981 when Maj. Parveen Oberoy won it first. Then in 1984, Capt. M.A. Naik claimed the award and Naib Subedar Dalvir Singh won it in 1991. There were three `Arjuna Award` winners for the Rowing players in the rest of the decade of 1990s that include the names of Major R.S. Bhanwala in 1994; Surender Singh Waldia in 1996 and Jagjit Singh in the year of 1999. From the very first year of the new millennium that is in 2000, Surender Singh Kanwasi won the award and in 2004 Jenil Krishnan won it. In 2008 this award was won by Bajrang lal Thakkar and in 2009 by Satish Joshi.
Arjuna Awards in Kabaddi
This is a very old traditional sport in India. This sport also has a few representatives in the winners list of the Arjuna Award. The first Kabaddi player to win the Arjuna Award was Ashan Kumar in the year 1998. Biswajit Palit also won the award in that same year. In the following year in 1999 also, there were two winners. They were Balwinder Singh and Tirath Raj. C. Homonappa in 2000 and in 2002, Ram Mehar Singh won the award. Sanjeev Kumar and Sunder Singh were the winners in the years of 2003 and 2004 respectively. Other winners are Ramesh Kumar (2005), Naveen Gautam (2006) and Pankaj Navnath Shrisat (2008).
Arjuna Awards in Judo
This is another sport that is being played in India for a long period of time and this sport also have some Arjuna Award winners. From the year of 1992 when Sandeep Byala won the award, it has another five winners of the award so far. Amongst them, Cawas Billimoria won it in 1993; Ms. Poonam Chopra in 1996; Narender Singh won it in 1998; Akram Shah became the winner in 2003 and in 2004 it was won by Angom Anita Chanu. Ms. Tombi Devi won it in the year 2007.
Arjuna Awards in Gymnastics
This old game in India has only five award winners so far and the gymnasts started winning the award from the year of 1961 when Shyam Lal won it. In 1975, Montu Debnath won the award and it was won by Ms. S. Sharma in the year of 1985. After she won the award, there was a gap of 4 years and in 1989, Ms. Krupali Patel became the winner of the award. Dr. (Ms.) Kalpna Debnath was the last gymnast so far to win the award. She won it in the year 2000.
Arjuna Awards in Archery
Archery is quite popular at present in India and has several representatives in the winners list of the prestigious Arjuna Award. The winners are Krishna Das who won it in 1981; Shyam Lal, the winner of the award in 1989; Limba Ram in 1991 and Sanjeev Kumar Singh who won it in the year of 1992. Other winners are Tarundeep Rai (2005), Dola Banerjee (2005), Jayanta Talukdar (2006) and Mangal Singh Champia (2009).
Arjuna Awards in Cycling
This is such a sport that is very much popular in other parts of the world but not that much in India and hence this sport also has only three players who won the Arjuna Award. In 1975, Amar Singh was the first Cycling player to win the award. After him, the award won by Ms. M. Mahapatra in 1978-79 and A.R. Arthna completed the list so far by winning the award in 1983.
Arjuna Awards in Golf
This sport is quite popular in India at present and has produced some world-class golfers in recent times. Amongst them, three golfers became successful to win the Arjuna Award. They are Chiranjeev Milkha Singh in 1999; Shiv Kapur in 2002 and Jyotinder Singh Randhawa in 2004.
Arjuna Awards in Billiards and Snooker
Though the game of Billiards and Snooker has a proud history and has produced some internationally successful players, it has four representatives in the winners list of the Arjuna Award. They are Alok Kumar who won it in 2002 and Pankaj Advani, the winner in the year of 2003. Anuja Prakash Thakur won it in the year 2005.
Arjuna Awards in Carrom
This game has only one representative in the Arjuna Awards winners list. The sole Carrom player who won the award is A. Maria Irudayam, in the year of 1996.
Arjuna Awards in Cricket
Cricket is one of the most popular games in the country. There are several winners of Arjuna Award in this sport. Some of the winners are Saleem Durani (1961), Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
(1964), Vijay Manjrekar (1965), Chandu Borde (1966), Ajit Wadekar
(1967), E.A.S. Prasanna, Bishan Singh Bedi
, Dilip Sardesai, Eknath Solkar
, Sunil Gavaskar
, Shanta Rangaswamy, Gundappa Vishwanath, Chetan Chauhan, Syed Kirmani, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath
, Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin
, Madan Lal
, Manoj Prabhakar
, Kiran More, Sachin Tendulkar
, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Ajay Jadeja
, Sourav Ganguly
, Rahul Dravid
, Nayan Mongia, B.K. Venkatesh Prasad, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh
, Gautam Gambhir
These are the names of the some of the winners of Arjuna Awards in India.