Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Disabled sports neglected in CWG: disability activist

New Delhi, Aug 9 (UNI) On the one hand the city is struggling to make Commonwealth Games, one of the biggest sporting events, a success, on the other the country's disabled sports persons are finding it hard to retain their place in it.

Only 54 days are left for the Commonwealth Games and the Ministry of Sports continues to neglect disability sports even when they form an integral part of the upcoming Games, disability activist Javed Abidi said today.

''When the Games take place in October, as many as 45 medals will be at stake under disability sports. Medals won or lost will impact the nation's medal tally! The Sport Minister can afford to neglect it, but the nation cannot!'' he warned.

Under the banner of Disabled Rights Group (DRG), disabled sports persons will stage a protest outside Sports Minister M S Gill's residence here tomorrow to highlight the ''corruption'' in the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).

''We have written enough letters to Mr Gill but he is least bothered. Disability sports is not on his radar screen,'' Mr Abidi regretted.

He alleged that Mr Gill has left it to his 'babus'. ''They are all hand in glove with the PCI, the extremely corrupt sports federation,'' he charged.

Mr Abidi also lambasted the Games Organising Committee for not picking any disabled athlete in its list of six brand ambassadors for the event. Referring to the money earmarked for the disability sports, he asked ''Where has the amount of Rs 13 crore gone?''

''Further, why is proper coaching not being provided to our elite disabled athletes like Prashant Karmakar in swimming and Farman Basha in power lifting, who are our only two medal hopes in the Games? Similar is the neglect towards our table tennis players and athletes,'' he said.

Talking about other concerns, he mentioned the instance of Prashant Karmakar not being considered for an Arjuna Award and similarly the Dronacharya Award eluding Ramesh Tikaram, coach for badminton and athletics.

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