Mary Kom, the iconic sportswoman and India's first-ever Olympic medalist in women's boxing, was recently bestowed with the prestigious Global Indian Icon of the Year award at the annual UK-India Awards held in Windsor, England.
At the grand ceremony on Thursday night, the 40-year-old former Rajya Sabha member reflected on her arduous 20-year journey and her unwavering dedication to the sport as she graciously accepted the accolade from the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami. Expressing her gratitude, Mary Kom remarked,
"I have been fighting for 20 years, pouring immense effort and hard work into my boxing career. This recognition means the world to me... It signifies the sacrifices I have made for my country and my family. From the depths of my heart, I sincerely thank everyone involved."
Now in its fifth year, the UK-India Awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions of leaders in various domains such as business, professional services, government, culture, and social impact, celebrating their exceptional achievements in strengthening bilateral relations.
A panel of industry experts selected the award recipients from a shortlist. These awards served as the penultimate event of the six-day UK-India Week, which included a special reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. During the reception, Prime Minister Sunak expressed his commitment to pursuing a "truly ambitious" free trade agreement (FTA) with India, emphasizing the significance of the UK-India partnership.
He also conveyed his anticipation for the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi, scheduled to be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September, thereby highlighting the global attention on India in the coming weeks.