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Padma Shri Awards: Thangavelu and Naik to be Honoured for Inspiring Show

Indian Paralympic high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu and Shekhar Naik, captain of the Indian blind cricket team, will be conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award later this year.

News18 Sports

Updated:January 25, 2017, 4:13 PM IST
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Padma Shri Awards: Thangavelu and Naik to be Honoured for Inspiring Show
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New Delhi: Indian Paralympic high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu and Shekhar Naik, captain of the Indian blind cricket team, will be conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award later this year.

While Thangavelu was outstanding at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, winning the gold in the T42 High Jump category, Naik led India to victory in the first T20 World Cup in 2012 and the ODI World Cup in 2014.

Born in the Salem District in Tamil Nadu, Thangavelu won hearts with his performance at the Olympics, becoming only the third Indian athlete after Muralikant Petkar and Devendra Jhajharia to win the coveted gold medal.

At 21, Thangavelu has shown that he has a wise shoulder on his head as he donated a part of his prize money that he received from the government for his feat to school for improvement of sports facility.

The athlete suffered permanent disability in the right leg when he was run over by drunk bus driver while walking to school. Life hasn’t been easy for him as his father abandoned the family when he was still young and he was raised by his mother who worked as a labourer.

Thangavelu is such an inspiration that Tamil film director Aishwaryaa Dhanush is making a film about this life and achievements titled Mariyappan.

For Naik, life has been all about cricket ever since he lost both his parents at the tender age of 12.

Hailing from the Shimoga district in Karnataka, Naik faced a lot of hardship and financial issues, but never let his love for the gentleman’s game disappear.

He is a champion on the field as he has managed to score 32 centuries in a career that has spanned 13 years. He has also played 63 matches across all formats for the national team.

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