India’s Paralympic games in shamble

A year ago, The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) was suspended by the government following poor management in the conduct of 15th National Para Athletics Championship 2015. That was not only unacceptable by PCI, but it also raised alarming questions on the future of India’s Paralympic games.

It didn’t ended there, it was just the start of a major collapse. The PCI suspended four office bearers and one official who were into allegations of misappropriation of funds. Nale Nand Kishore (vice-president), M Madhusa Srinivasa Rao (join secretary), Narayan T (member), Rajesh Lamechwal (member) and Satyanarayana (executive officer) were members who were suspended.

“Para sports need to be treated equally alongside normal sports. We deserve the same facilities that other athletes are getting. We need to be treated as normal players. We are not asking for the moon, we are just demanding basic facilities which has to be provided,” former world no. 1 para shuttler Anand Kumar expressed who was unhappy with the way differently sportspersons were treated.

Some of the players admitted that even the basic needs like water, food was not provided to the athletes. They were also put up in unhygienic rooms which is just shameful to say the least. It’s been a year now, and still there is not a slight improvement.

Although sports such as blind football and blind cricket has started to gain the popularity, it’s still yet to attract the attention it genuinely needs. The differently-abled athletes are worried about their future, the facilities and platform which the normal athletes are provided with should be also given to the other athletes.

It’s not just about any specific place, but it is happening all over the nation. The concern is who will look after such special athletes? If not our own people then whom? Who will take an initiative to work after such players? There are tons of questions to be answered by the Sports ministry and the Government of India, and this has been the sole reason why India is years behind compare to the rest of the world.

As mentioned by Anand Kumar, Para sports needs to be equally treated alongside normal ones such as cricket. Even the basic facilities will help these athletes, after all their demands are not that high.

These special athletes dream to make their nation proud at International stage, ironically it’s our nation that lets them down. Such is the condition of our country. If these issues are not resolved quickly then I doubt any differently-abled sportspersons will even think of pursuing their careers in Para games, let alone representing our nation.