Badminton player PV Sindhu has given us one more reason to be proud of her. She’s the only Indian to have made it to the Forbes list of highest-earning women sports players in the world. Sindhu ranks seventh in the list, which is topped by tennis champ Serena Williams (for the third time in a row).
Sindhu’s annual income between June 2017 and June 2018 was a cool $8.5 million (Rs 59.4 crore). This, despite the fact that badminton only enjoys a semi-professional status in most parts of the world. Her income includes prize winnings and endorsement deals alike. Currently, Sindhu is the brand ambassador for the Central Reserve Police Force and Vizag Steel. After her return from the Rio Games, Sindhu received Rs 13 crore as cash awards from various state governments and government institutions. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.
Sindhu’s remarkably high earning also paves a way for other sports enthusiasts who are fighting a battle with their family about how sports can be a sustainable career. In our country, unfortunately, only a small number of parents encourage their children to pursue sport professionally, and cut the number smaller if the sport isn’t cricket and it’s the girl-child in question.
Sindhu’s success, as with most sportspeople, is hard-earned. It’s sheer dedication and grit, along with talent and a passion to nurture it to the fullest. The 23-year-old from Hyderabad has been playing badminton since she was eight. She hails from a sporting family – her parents were national level volleyball players – who supported her ambitions. Her passion was evident early on – while in school, she would travel 56km from her residence to coaching camps, and also report bang on time. Today, she has been awarded with the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri Award (the highest civilian honour).
Indian female athletes who became sporting legends