Millennium Post

Para-athletes face official apathy, sports min promises action

Taking a very strong view of the shocking incident of differently-abled sportspersons taking part in a national event being put up at unfurnished and unhygienic accommodations, sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday sought a report from the organisers and promised to take action within 24 hours.

Sonowal said he has asked for a detailed report from Paralympic Committee of India as well as from his secretary after athletes participating in the national para-athletics championships (March 20-22) at Janhit Para Sports Grounds (Madhuban, Bapudham) in Ghaziabad were asked to stay at messy and unkempt rooms at a building. The championship was organised by Uttar Pradesh unit of the PCI.

“Well-being of all athletes is a priority for us. Differently-abled athletes and their well-being is a priority for us. We are examining the matter and looking into the reasons for mismanagement of the event,” Sonowal said.

“I have asked my sports secretary to take immediate action and submit a report within 24 hours and based on that I will take action. From our part, there is no discrimination between abled-bodied and differently abled athletes.”

“We have not got proper food, eating poori and one vegetable dish for last four days. We walk with sticks and we have been put up at second floor. They don’t even have ramps for wheelchair-bound athletes. Toilets are dirt, there are no fans, no water. I fell three times while taking bath on Sunday, we are drinking water from a tanker and it has not been cleaned and the toilets are filthy,” said Yogesh, a participating athlete.
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