Punjab’s Para Asiad heroes await rewards

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, July 5

Before the 2018 Para Asian Games, the Punjab authorities introduced hefty money rewards for athletes who would carry laurels to the state in varied occasions. However, two years down the road, these guarantees have nonetheless not been fulfilled.

Three para-athletes from the state — Paramjeet Kumar from Jalandhar, Raj Kumar and Mohammed Yasser, each from Patiala — received bronze medals within the Para Asian Games in Jakarta. Paramjeet received his medal in powerlifting, Raj Kumar in badminton and Yasser in shot put. However, they’ve been operating from pillar to publish, requesting sports activities officers to recognise their achievements and award them money prizes, as promised, however all in useless.

The three say that and not using a job and monetary help, they’ve been struggling to make each ends meet. “I am suffering from polio, but defying all odds, I prepared hard for the 2018 Para Asian Games and won a bronze medal in powerlifting,” mentioned Paramjeet Kumar. “I was honoured and given a Rs 10 lakh cash prize by the Central Government in 2018 itself after we returned from Jakarta, but the Punjab Sports Department till date has been making excuses and delaying our felicitation.”

“I met the sports minister and director of the Sports Department last year, and they promised they would honour para-athletes with the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award,” he added. “However, when the awards were handed over last year, our names were nowhere in the list.”

Raj Kumar and Yasser mentioned that the overall class athletes who received laurels within the Asian Games have been felicitated with money prizes final 12 months.

“As per the Sports Department’s 2018 policy, the government has to provide Rs 50 lakh as cash incentive to bronze medallists of the Asian Games, along with a job… But looking at the situation, when even our cash prize hasn’t been handed over yet, thinking about a job seems to be a distant dream,” mentioned Raj Kumar.

Yasser mentioned he has began making ready for the Olympic Games and desires cash to fund his coaching, and the state authorities should perceive this and hand over money rewards.

Sports Department director DPS Kharbanda mentioned the federal government would quickly maintain an occasion to felicitate para-athletes.

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