Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday refused to commit if medallists of the ongoing Rio Paralympics will be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award — the highest sporting honour in the country.
An Olympic medallist directly qualifies for the Khel Ratna award during an Olympic year but Goel said there is no such policy in place for the paralympians.
Rio Olympic stars PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar last month were conferred India’s highest sporting honour along with shooter Jitu Rai in a gleaming awards ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
“Our Paralympians have made India proud winning four medals so far in Rio Paralympics. But on the issue of awards, till now there has been no decision on any such policy for paralympians. We will take up the matter,” Goel told reporters during the unveiling of the logo of the upcoming Kabaddi World Cup, to be held in Ahmedabad next month.
Indian athletes have so far won four medals (two golds, one silver and one bronze) in the ongoing Rio Paralympics.
After Mariyappan Thangavelu (gold in men’s T42 High Jump), Varun Bhati (bronze in men’s T42 High Jump) and Deepa Malik (silver in women’s shotput F53 event) won medals in their respective events at the Rio Paralympics, javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia on Wednesday bettered his own world record to win his career’s second gold in the F46 event.
(Feature image source: PTI)