Sania Mirza may be set to receive India's major sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, but Paralympian HN Girisha is disappointed for being overlooked.
Girish, 2012 London Paralympics silver medallist and 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games bronze medallist, feels that he deserves the award and not Sania Mirza.
Sania Mirza has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for her stellar performance in the last few years. The tennis star has won a number of titles and recently, she won her first women's doubles title. After partnering with Martina Hingis, she also reached the No. 1 women's doubles ranking as well.
But Girisha believes that as per the ministry notification, only performances in major competition such as Olympics and World Championships are considered for the award.
"I understand Sania has won Grand Slam titles but according to the ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 will be considered," The Times of India quoted Girisha as saying.
The Paralympian also feels justice has not prevailed as he was the top contender with 90 points to receive the award.
"Going by the ministry's performance-based points system introduced to pick the award winner, I'm the top contender with 90 points. But Sania does not figure anywhere near the top."
"This is injustice. Instead of considering me, they've decided to ignore it and reward Sania," said Girisha.
If one looks at Girisha's career, the government has given him some major honours. The 2012 London Paralympics silver medallist has been awarded the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award in the past, but Girisha is yet to understand as to why he has been denied the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.
"If my performances from 2011 were not considered, then why did they honour me with the Padma Shri before giving me the Arjuna Award? In 2013 when I applied for the Khel Ratna I was informed that I have to win the Arjuna to be eligible for this award. If that's the norm, how did they give MS Dhoni the Khel Ratna in 2007-08?" said Girisha.