Paralympic medallists to be recommended for Padma awards

In a bid to give increased recognition to their achievements, the medallists from the Rio Paralympics will be recommended for the Padma awards this year by the Sports Ministry.

Rio-Olympics, Paralympics.Medalists. Deepa-Malik, Thangavelu

Varun Singh Bhati (High Jump),Thangavelu Mariyappan (High Jump) and Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw) and Deepa Malik with their medals.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

In a bid to give increased recognition to their achievements, the medallists from the Rio Paralympics will be recommended for the Padma awards this year by the Sports Ministry.

“Sports Ministry will recommend the names of our star #Paralympians to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the prestigious #PadmaAwards,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel announced on his Twitter page.

India won four medals — two gold, a silver and a bronze — at the Paralympics in Rio earlier this month.





Thangavelu Mariyappan (High Jump) and Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw) won gold medals, while Deepa Malik (Shot put) had claimed a silver. Varun Singh Bhati (High Jump) had won a bronze medal.

The para-athletes were welcomed warmly on their return from Rio and were hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.

Addressing the athletes who had returned from the Paralympics, at the celebratory dinner thrown by the Piramal Group on Thursday, the Sports Minister said that they were an inspiration to the whole nation, owing to their ability to overcome disabilities.

‘’You are the motivators for everyone," Vijay Goel said.

He was particularly happy with the Prime Minister meeting the paralympians immediately on their return from Brazil and spending a lot of time with them. He recalled his meeting with Deepa Malik, who won the shot put silver, and the enthusiasm she had shown which convinced him that she would definitely win a medal.

‘’The Prime Minister will receive you’’, Vijay Goel recalled promising Deepa, who sought an interaction for the Paralympics-bound athletes with the Prime Minister before departure.

The Sports Minister announced that a campaign ‘’Khelo India Khelo’’, to make everyone play across the country, would be started soon.

He also mentioned that a website would be launched for sports talent search, by which anybody from any corner of the country would be able to update his details and upload a video to seek support.

Goel said he was very impressed by the badminton academy run by national coach P. Gopi Chand in Hyderabad during his recent visit to the centre.

‘’What an academy!’’, he exclaimed. He also recalled the diligence with which P.V. Sindhu reported for training the very next day after returning with a silver medal from the Rio Games.

Suggesting that there should be a sports summit like the corporate summit and tourism summit etc., even though sports was not yet a profitable venture, Vijay Goel congratulated all the athletes who represented the country in the Rio Paralympics, and praised them for their courage and performances.

The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) felicitated all the athletes, their coaches and people who had supported, on the occasion. The president of the PCI, Union Minister Rao Inderjeet Singh, thanked the State governments for their spontaneous announcements of rewards for the Paralympic medallists. He thanked the Sports Minister for treating the para-athletes on par with the regular athletes for government awards.