The Tokyo Paralympics medallists will get cash awards at the function to be organised by the Uttar Pradesh government before Dussehra
The Uttar Pradesh government is set to felicitate all 17 of India’s Tokyo Paralympics medallists with cash awards at a function in Meerut next month before Dussehra.
India won 19 medals at the Tokyo Paralympics – five gold, eight silver and six bronze. Since two of the athletes won two medals each, they would be felicitated for their best one. Para-athletes from all 75 districts across the state would also attend the ceremony and the UP Sports Directorate would make arrangements in this connection.
The gold medallists will be richer by ₹2 crore each whereas silver and bronze medallists will get ₹1.5 crore and ₹1 crore each, respectively, people familiar with the matter said.
Eight athletes from Uttar Pradesh took part in the Tokyo Paralympics. Among them, high jumper Praveen Kumar of Gautam Buddha Nagar and Noida (Gautam Buddha Nagar) district magistrate and para-shuttler Suhas LY would get ₹4 crore each for winning silver medals. The other six athletes from Uttar Pradesh would get ₹10 lakh each as participation money. They are: Jyoti Baliyan (archery), Ajeet Singh (javelin), Varun Singh Bhati (high jump), Akash (shooting), Deepender (shooting) and Vivek Chikara (archery).
“Yes, Meerut is going to be the place where the Tokyo Paralympics medallists would be felicitated with cash awards, but the venue and the date are yet to be finalised as we are waiting for the rainy season to end before Dusshera,” an official, who is aware of the development, said on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
In August, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had distributed ₹43.03 crore to all the seven medallists from India who excelled at the Tokyo Olympics, including the Indian men’s hockey team, which achieved a historic bronze medal after 41 years. That function was held at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.
The Uttar Pradesh government also felicitated the Indian women’s hockey team, which secured a historic fourth position in the Olympics. The bronze-medal winning men’s hockey team got ₹1 crore for each member. The women hockey team was given ₹50 lakh for each member. The chief minister also gave cash awards of ₹50 lakh each to golfer Aditi Ashok and wrestler Deepak Punia.
“It was the best felicitation of Tokyo Olympics medallists in India, and we will have almost a similar felicitation for Paralympians in Meerut the next month,” said another official.
UP Para Sports Association (UPPSA) president Kavinder Chaudhary, while lauding the UP government’s support to sports and sportspersons, said the sporting body would honour UP’s Paralympians at a function in New Delhi soon.
“The state government has been doing great for sports and sportspersons of the country and the state. UPPSA is ready to support the government for more facilities for para-athletes of the state in the future,” said Chaudhary.
He said that equipment, diet and coaching were the need of the hour for para-athletes of the state, and if the government extended support, UP athletes would win 8-10 medals at the 2022 Asian Para Games in China.
“UPPSA wishes to have the country’s first Para University, where para-athletes of the country, including those from Uttar Pradesh too, can have their own set-up for lodging, food, training etc,” he said, adding, “For this, we are ready to give 30 acres of land.”
MEDALLISTS AT TOKYO PARALYMPICS
Gold: Avani Lekhara (shooting); Sumit Antil (javelin); Manish Narwal (shooting); Pramod Bhagat (badminton) and Krishna Nagar (badminton).
Silver: Bhavina Patel (table tennis); Nishad Kumar (high jump); Devendra Jhajharia (javelin); Yogesh Kathuniya (discus); Mariyappan Thangavelu (high jump); Praveen Kumar (high jump); Singhraj Adhana (shooting) and Suhas Yathiraj (badminton).
Bronze: Sundar Singh Gurjar (javelin); Singhraj Adhana (shooting); Sharad Kumar (high jump); Avani Lekhara (shooting); Harvinder Singh (archery); Manoj Sarkar (badminton).