Vandana Katariya (born 15 April 1992) is an Indian field hockey player. She plays as a forward in the Indian national team. Vandana rose to prominence in 2013, being India’s top goal-scorer in the 2013 Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup, where India won a bronze medal; she scored five goals in the tournament, the third by any player. Kataria has played for the senior national team in more than 200 international matches. She was a part of the Indian team that won a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games and represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has cited Argentine Luciana Aymar as her favorite player. Katariya was born on 15 April 1992, in Roshnabad – Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand). Her father Nahar Singh works as a master technician in BHEL, Haridwar. Hailing from Roshnabad in Haridwar district, Vandana is one of the most improved players upfront for India in the last couple of years. The youngster first made her junior international debut in 2006 before going on to make her senior international debut four years later. Katariya was picked in the Indian junior team in 2006 and she made it to the senior national team in 2010. She was a part of the team that won bronze at the 2013 Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany. She was India’s top scorer in the tournament, having scored 5 goals in 4 games. In an interview she called the bronze medal her favorite moment, “It has to be when we won the bronze medal at the World Cup in Germany. My father was called by the media and he had tears in his eyes. So, making my father proud is the best moment of my hockey career.”She won her 100th cap while playing against Canada in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. “We clearly missed Vandana during the Hawke’s Bay Cup. Her being back in the team strengthens our attack as she is good with speed and skill, to break the defense chain, which at times leaves the opponents on the back foot,” said Kataria’s 21-year old teammate Poonam Rani. Katariya was honored with Hockey India’s Player of the Year Award in 2014. At the Round 2 of the 2014–15 FIH Hockey World League, she finished with 11 goals top-scorer, with India winning the tournament. “In my book, Vandana is one of the top forwards in world hockey. She is quick, can score goals, can defend and is improving all the time,” Indian women’s hockey team’s stop-gap coach Roelant Oltmans said after her performance in Round 2 League. In November 2016, Katariya was retained as the skipper of the Indian women’s hockey team for the Test Series against Australia and led the team in Melbourne from 23 to 30 November. In the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Vandana became the first Indian woman to score an Olympic hat-trick in hockey. Her family was subjected to casteist slurs after India lost to Argentina in the semifinals. Certain upper-caste men allegedly hurled abuses at Katariya’s family saying that the team lost the Olympic semifinal as it had too many Dalit players. On August 8 2021, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami appointed Team India’s hockey player Vandana Katariya as the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development. The announcement was made at a programme organized to felicitate the recipients of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award Vandana was also recently honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award. She is a pride of our nation.