This year’s Basavashree Award will be given to sporting legend P.T. Usha.
Disclosing this at a press conference here on Saturday, Shivamurthy Murughaswamy of the Murugha Math said the math had selected the former athlete for the award taking into account the tremendous contribution she had made to her field.
Giving a brief account of her career, the swami said Ms. Usha, who was popularly known as Payyoli Express, also became popular as the Golden Girl, for bringing glory to India in athletics.
She was honoured with a number of prestigious awards such as the Arjuna Award in 1983 and the Padma Shri in 1985. The Indian Olympic Association also honoured her with the Sportsperson of the Century and the Sportswoman of the Millennium titles.
The swami said the award, which included cash of Rs. 1 lakh and a citation, would be given to her on September 27, 2009 as part of the Sharana Samskriti Utsava.
The math had been giving away the award for the past 12 years. Other eminent personalities who had received it were: the Dalai Lama, social activists Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh, the former police officer Kiran Bedi and actor Shabana Azmi, he said.