Chandigarh, March 26 - Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, today announced to give cash awards to the winners of Paralympics at par with those of the winners of the Olympics.
The Chief Minister, who was declaring open the 5-day 16th Senior National Para Athletic Championship-2016 in Panchkula today, said that the Government has already decided to give a cash award of Rs six crore to the Gold medal winner of Olympics, Rs four crore to Silver medal winner and Rs 2.5 crore to Bronze medal winner.
The announcement by the Chief Minister was hailed with thunderous applause by all the participants representing over 20 States of the country.
Mr Manohar Lal added that such players would also be given facilities admissible to other players who win laurels in international competitions.
While responding to the issues raised by Union Minister of State for Defence, Rao Inderjit, who is also the Chairman of Paralympic Committees of India and Haryana, Mr Manohar Lal announced to get the office of Paralympic Committee of Haryana opened in Faridabad. While responding to the issue of a synthetic track in Faridabad, he said that only a couple of days ago he had announced to lay ten lane synthetic track in Gurgaon which would also benefit the players of adjoining areas including Faridabad.
He said that the State Government was already giving a number of benefits including jobs to the outstanding sportsperson. The Chief Minister appreciated that this championship has been organized in Haryana for the third time. He suggested that it should be organized at frequent intervals in the State so as to encourage sportspersons.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, said that various steps were being taken for the socio-economic development of the physically challenged persons who constitute 2.21 per cent of the total population of the country. He said that Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, has started ‘Accessible India Campaign’ to facilitate the physically challenged persons. Apart from this, a scheme to open colleges for deaf and dumb students has also been started besides increasing the scholarship for physically challenged. Mr Gurjar also praised Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal for creating a positive atmosphere for sportspersons in the State and hoped that the players of the State would win more medals in Rio Olympics as compared to medals won by them in the last Olympics.
Union Minister of State for Defense, Rao Inderjit, appreciated the Paralympics Committee of Haryana for organizing this event. He urged the players to give their best performance as their selection for Rio Olympics would depend upon their performance in this championship. He assured that the selection for the Rio Olympics would be fair.
Earlier, the participants were administered oath that they would participate in true spirit of sportsmanship by keeping themselves away from drugs. The Chief Minister also took salute from impressive march past presented by contingents of sportspersons representing different States.
At the opening ceremony, 800 meter race was held and Chief Minister gave away medals to the winners. All the first three positions were won by sports persons of Haryana namely Sukhpal, Dharmender and Narender respectively.
The Chief Minister also honoured outstanding sportsperson of Haryana including H.N Grisha, R.D Singh, Naval Singh, Sukhbir Singh Tokas, Girraj Singh, Mahadeva, Munishwara, Rajendra Singh Rehelue, Jagseer Singh, Parul and Deepa Malik.
MP, Mr Ratan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Cooperation, Mr Bikram Singh Yadav, MLAs namely Mr Gian Chand Gupta and Mrs Latika Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Mr Mandeep Brar, Mayor Municipal Corporation Mrs Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia and other senior officers of the district administration were also present on the occasion.