Govt not doing anything for para-athletes: Jhajharia

New Delhi: Devendra Jhajharia, the first Indian paralympian to win a gold at the recently-concluded IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, feels the future of para-athletes is bleak in India as the Government does not have any specific policy for the para-sports in the country.

"There is discrimination between able-bodied and para-athletes in our country. This should be wiped out. We too have won medals and brought laurels to the country," Jhajharia told reporters here.

"The Government is not doing anything for the para-athletes in a concrete manner. There should be a specific policy for the para-athletes. While the Olympians get jobs, the para-athletes do not get it so easily. Inspite of announcements made from time to time, there are no jobs given to people like us," he added.

The 32-year-old one-armed javelin thrower, who has an unique record of winning gold medal in 2004 Paralympics in Athens as well as in World Championship, believes that para-athletes should be helped by government.

Devendra had started coaching in 2011 for a very brief time but left it to concentrate on his preparation for the World Championship early this month.

He said if the Government could provide him land and proper infrastructure, he would want to impart his knowledge to the budding talents of the nation.

However, he stressed that the society too has to change its mind-set towards the differently-abled people.

"Someone who is not able-bodied should not be put inside four-walls, rather he or she should be encouraged to take up sports and serve the country," he said.


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