Thiruvananthapuram: G V Raja awards, the highest government-level recognition for sports persons in the state, were announced on Friday.
Athlete Tintu Luka and Badminton player V Diju have won the awards in the female and male categories respectively, announced Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here.
Ace Volleyball player Tom Joseph was ignored by the State government, which had cried foul when the national player was not included in the list for this year’s Arjuna awards.
The government, however, gave him a special award for his contribution in the field of sports.
Tom Joseph reacted that awards were not something that had to be demanded and added that he was pained that he missed it.
He was denied the Arjuna Award even though he was nominated for it nine times. He had also applied five times for G V Raja awards.
After Jimmy George, Tom Joseph has emerged as Kerala's volleyball icon. However, he has been denied national sports awards on one pretext or the other.