The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has established a para centre under its National Centre of Excellence Scheme at SAI regional centre in Gandhinagar, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said in the Parliament on Thursday.

Under the 'promotion of sports among persons with disabilities' vertical of the Khelo India scheme, financial assistance is provided to support district and state level games to the concerned national sports federations, namely, Special Olympic Bharat, All India Sports Council of Deaf and Paralympic Committee of India.

Further, under the 'talent search and development' vertical of the Khelo India Scheme, 29 para-athletes have been identified in four para-sports disciplines and are being provided with out of pocket allowance of Rs 10,000 per month.

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In addition, the nodal body has also established a para centre at SAI's regional centre in Gandhinagar. The centre is operational in the disciplines of athletics, swimming, powerlifting and table tennis.

The selected athletes are provided support in the form of expert coaches, sports equipment, boarding and lodging, sports kit, competition exposure, educational expenses, medical/insurance and stipend as per the approved scheme norms.

Most of the other centres of SAI have also been made disabled-friendly.

This ministry implements the Khelo India Scheme with the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports under which various programmes have been launched under the different Khelo India verticals to realise the objective of broad-basing and promoting the culture of sports.

These initiatives are undertaken in both rural and urban areas across the country.

The information was given by Thakur in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.