Coorg-born Joshna Chinappa, winner of the gold medal at the last Commonwealth Games in women’s squash doubles, is the ‘Coorg Person of the Year, 2014’.
Joshna along with Dipika Pallikal won the squash women’s doubles gold medal at Glasgow in Scotland, making it India’s first ever Commonwealth Games medal in the sport.
Joshna was selected ‘Coorg Person of the Year’ in a poll conducted by www.coorgtourisminfo.com, Kodagu’s first news portal, promoted by senior journalist P.T. Bopanna.
Kuttanda Joshna Chinappa, aged 28, based in Chennai, is a pioneer of women’s squash in India. She became the youngest Indian to win the British Open juniors at the age of 16.
Winner of the Arjuna award for squash in 2013, Joshna, a 12-times national champion, is 21st in World Ranking. She was the first beneficiary of Mittal Champions Trust, funded by industrialist Lakshmi Mittal.
Joshna got introduced to squash at the Madras Cricket Club where her father Anjan Chinappa, who runs a coffee plantation in Coorg with her mother Sunita, was a member.
Her father Anjan Chinappa, who represented Tamil Nadu in squash, was also her first coach.
Joshna, is the great grand-daughter of Pemanda K. Monappa, who retired as head of Karnataka police and had the rare distinction of serving as head of the police department of three states.
Among the others who were nominated for this year’s ‘Coorg Person of the Year’, include Ravi Chengappa of the Kavery Sene who has been organizing protests against the 400 KV high tension power transmission line project in Kodagu and M.R. Poovamma, who was in the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team which won the gold medal at the 17th Asian Games.
The past winners of the ‘Coorg Person of the Year’ are Dr Kavery Nambisan, novelist, 2005; Dr Boverianda Nanjamma Chinnappa, researcher, 2006; Robin Uthappa, cricketer, 2007; Dr Moodera Jagadeesh Subbaiah , scientist, 2008; Air Marshal K.C. Cariappa, Retd., environmentalist, 2009; Tennis player Rohan Bopanna, 2010;retired Tamil Nadu IAS officer P.M. Belliappa, 2011; Vineet Devaiah, technology innovator, 2012; and birdman Dr S.V. Narasimhan, 2013.