Srikanth became the first Indian and only the fourth shuttler in the world to win four Super Series tournaments in a calendar season when he clinched the French Open last week.
Goel, who is now Parliamentary Affairs Minister, wrote a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, recommending Srikanth for the countrys fourth highest civilian award. However, the deadline for Padma nominations had closed on the midnight of September 15. “In this scenario, it is imperative to motivate the young sportsman by acknowledging his contribution to this sport in India,” Goel, who was succeeded by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in a Cabinet reshuffle, wrote in his letter.
“He is an idol for the youth of the country and millions of people have aspirations to see his achievements being recognised. Many people have approached me in the capacity of ex-Sports Minister to recommend his name for this year’s Padma Shri award. Accordingly, in the spirit of reflecting the aspiration of people of India, I recommend the name of Shri SrikanthKidambi for the Padma Shri award,” the letter read.
After being nominated for the Padma Shri award, the government of his home state, Andhra Pradesh, announced a reward of Rs 2 crore for the shuttler.
Srikanth, who hails from Guntur district, will also get a deputy collector-rank job in the government service, he said.