The Arjuna awardees belonging to the Dalit Christian community were felicitated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Office on August 31, 2017, during a program attended by His Excellency Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, CBCI Secretary General, Fr. Devasagayaraja, secretary to the CBCI Office for Dalit and Indigenous people, church leaders, Dalit and civil society organizations and children.
Anthony Amalraj, a table tennis player, who won a silver medal at 2014 Commonwealth Games in doubles and Rajiv Arokya, an Indian track and field athlete, who won a silver medal at the Asian championships in 2017, were lauded for their achievements. The two awardees were awarded the Arjuna awards on August 29, 2017, by President Ram Nath Kovind, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
The awardees, who shared their experiences of their achievements during the program, hail from poor families in Tamil Nadu.