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Following court verdict, para shuttler Raj Kumar awarded the Arjuna by Sports Minister in a special session

Two years after para shuttler Raj Kumar was denied the Arjuna award, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore bestowed him with the honour following the Delhi High Court verdict.

Raj Kumar with the winner’s certificate after 2009 World Para Badminton Championships

Raj Kumar who had won a gold medal in the 2015 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in England was not considered for the Arjuna Award in 2016. The selection committee ignored his credentials and awarded the Arjuna to Sandeep Singh Mann. Raj Kumar revealed, “I had a score of 72.5 out of 80 while the award was given to a para-athlete who had scored 50 out of 80.”

Raj Kumar after winning the World Championships in 2015

After this anomaly, Raj Kumar followed his case with the Ministry and other government offices. But when all went in vain, the shuttler complained the case in the court. “I was happy for the other athlete but felt quite insulted. Every sportsperson dream of the Arjuna award and it provides encouragement for sportsmen like me. So, I thought of fighting my case in the court,” added Raj Kumar.  

After two years of court proceedings, the Deli High Court delivered a ruling in Raj Kumar’s favour. The para shuttler was handed the award by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in a special occasion in his office. Sports Secretary Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar was also present on the occasion. Rathore took to Twitter and shared the pictures. His twitter account reads, “Congrats to Para Shuttler Raj Kumar for the prestigious Arjuna Award! Raj Kumar made us proud with a Gold in the 2015 BWF Para Badminton World C’ships in England. Best of luck for the future, young man!”

Raj Kumar exchanges greetings with Sports Minister while receiving the Arjuna Award

Raj Kumar who injured his left arm at the age of five, could never recover from his injury. He started playing Badminton in 2007 and became World Champion for the first time in 2009. Later he regained his title in 2015. After receiving the award, Kumar expressed gratitude towards his coaches. He said, “It is the biggest achievement for me. I would like to credit my national and international coaches for my achievements.”

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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