Our para-athletes are our strength, they inspire us: Kiren Rijiju

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju
Image Source : PTI

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said disabled athletes are the strength and inspiration of the country and the present government treats them at par with able-bodied sportspersons.

Rijiju made the statement during a virtual session on the occasion of 29th World Disability Day in the presence of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president Deepa Malik and top para-athletes like Devendra Jhajharia, Parul Parmar and Shatabdi Awasthi.

“Our para-athletes and ‘Divyang’ warriors are our strength. They give us inspiration. In our Sports Ministry, there is no difference between an able and a differently-abled sportsperson.

“We felicitate them with the same amount of recognition, prize money and so on,” the Sports Minister said in a statement.

Rijiju also said that he will request the respective state governments to support the Paralympians in their respective region in the best possible way. “The government, the PCI and everyone are a team and we need to carry on our work of supporting our para-athletes,” he said.

Padma Shri, Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awardee Devendra Jhajharia thanked the government for its immense contribution in helping the para-athletes.

“Whenever we send a mail to the government stating our problems or things we need, we get a reply within an hour. “I look at most training centres across India and feel so happy that the next generation of para-athletes will have no problem as the infrastructure and facilities are already in place,” he said. 

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