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 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.”
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 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.”