Disabled athletes to protest outside Gill’s residence
New Delhi: Frustrated with Sports Minister M S Gill’s “apathy”, disabled athletes will stage a protest outside his residence here on Tuesday to highlight the “corruption” in the Paralympic Committee of India.
“Angry with the continued apathy of the Sports Minister towards disability sports, hundreds of disabled athletes and activists from all over the India will gather in Delhi. Under the banner of Disabled Rights Group, the disabled athletes will protest outside Dr Gill’s residence,” Disabled Rights Group convener Javed Abidi said in a statement.
Abidi said repeated requests seeking the Minister’s action against “the corrupt sports federation” have not yielded any results.
“We have written enough letters to Dr Gill. The guy is least bothered. Disability sports are not on his radar. He has left it to his babus (officers) and they are hands in gloves with the Paralympic Committee of India, the extremely corrupt sports federation,” fumed Abidi.
Abidi also lambasted the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee for not picking any disabled athlete in its list of six brand ambassadors for the quadrennial event despite the fact that disability sports are a part of the event.
“How come no disabled athlete was selected? For those who may not know, disability sports are an integral part of the Commonwealth Games (since Melbourne 2006). When the Games take place from October 3 to 14, as many as 45 medals will be at stake under disability sports,” he pointed out.
“Medals won or lost will impact the nation’s tally. So Dr Gill can afford to neglect disability sports because of his ignorance but the nation cannot,” he added.
He claimed that the Rs 13 crore earmarked for the disability sports have not been utilised.
“Where has all the money gone?” he asked.
“Why is proper coaching not being provided to our elite disabled athletes like Prashant Karmakar in swimming and Farman Basha in powerlifting, who are our only two medal hopes in the Games? Similar is the neglect towards our table tennis players and athletes,” he said.