National sports awards: AISCD seeks justice for deaf sportspersons

The Union Sports Ministry had recently equated achievements of deaf athletes on par with those competing in the Olympics and Paralympics, for government cash awards.

Prithvi Sekhar had won the Deaf World Championship gold and doubles bronze, apart from the mixed bronze at the Deaflympics.

The All India Sports Council of the Deaf (AISCD) has written to the Prime Minister and the Union Sports Minister seeking justice for the deaf in the National sports awards.

AISCD secretary G. Suresh Kumar questioned the presence of the Paralympic Committee of India president Deepa Malik in the selection panel and pointed out that several persons had been chosen for awards in the paralympic category.

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“No deaf sports category has been considered,” said AISCD in its letter. Deaf sportspersons had been considered under the normal category and thus denied awards, AISCD contended and requested a review of the recommended list.

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The hopefuls included tennis player Prithvi Sekhar (nominated for the Arjuna Award), who had won the Deaf World Championship gold and doubles bronze, apart from the mixed bronze at the Deaflympics.

It may be noted that with a recent order, the Union Sports Ministry had equated achievements of deaf athletes on par with those competing in the Olympics and Paralympics, for government cash awards.