On the eve of the 74th Republic Day, the Government of India announced the list of people who will be conferred with the top three awards in the country, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, and Padma Bhushan. Three sportspersons have also been nominated for Padma Shri for their contribution to Indian sports. 

Former Indian cricket player and coach Gurcharan Singh, SRD Prasad, who trains martial arts in the country, and Shanathoiba Sharma, who trains Thang-Ta, have been included in the list of Padma Shri awardees. 

Let’s look at these three personalities in detail. 

Gurucharan Singh

Gurucharan Singh is widely regarded for his contributions towards the growth of Indian cricket. While Singh played 38 First-Class games, he is more famous for his coaching job. He has produced around a dozen players who have represented at the highest level. Singh has coached the likes of Surinder Khanna, Kirti Azad, Vivek Razdan, Gursharan Singh, Maninder Singh, Murali Karthik, Ajay Jadeja and Rahul Sanghvi. Gurucharan is also the second Indian cricket coach to be honoured with the Dronacharya Award.

Martial arts trainer SRD Prasad

Kerala legend SRD Prasad has also been nominated for the Padma Shri for promoting martial arts in the country and preparing players for it. Prasad will be honoured for promoting the ancient martial art Kalaripayattu and teaching it to the younger generation. In the year 2016, he was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Academy Award for promoting martial arts.

KS Sharma

Manipur's KS Sharma will also be felicitated for promoting another art of martial arts famously known as 'Thang-Ta' in the country and for teaching them to the players. Talking about Thang-Ta, it is the art of regional martial arts of Manipur. In which mainly spears and swords are used.

Notably, the President of India on Wednesday approved the conferment of 106 Padma Awards, among which three were awarded to sportspersons.  The Awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service.

'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for outstanding service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in a specific field.