New Delhi: Developed by a class XI student, a mobile Application that is full of useful information for the Rio de Janeiro bound Para athletes, was launched on Wednesday.
16-year-old Arhan Bagati has developed the App -- InRio-- which is loaded with medical information of the participating athletes apart from tips on diet and nutrition.
By using this App, the athletes will have access to disable-friendly gyms, run by Fitness First, across the country without having to pay any fee. It also has a emergency contact list, which can be handy for athletes during exigencies.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung launched the App with Arhan at a city hotel here.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal missed out on the launch since he is in Assam, where floods have wreaked havoc, and in his place Joint Secretary Onkar Kedia attended the event.
Arhan, who studies in Sri Ram School in Gurgaon, said the Ghaziabad fiasco where para athletes suffered due to official apathy during National Para Games, made him think about it.
"The co-ordination went helter skelter there. NPO data was available for athletes on what to do or where to go. We have a record holder in Javeline throw but perhaps nobody knows him. Not much importance is given to Para athletes. So I thought of doing something for them," Arhan, looking extremely confident, said.
"The App also gives you information on Restaurants, shopping malls and Indian diaspora in Rio. Athletes can interact with fans too," said Arhan, adding that it can be a guide for athletes after the Olympic Games. It took him six months to collect all the data for the App.
Jung lauded the sensitivity shown by Arhan.
"It shows there is a lot of hope. NSF is suspended and athletes are missing support. They are going through a difficult time but this will keep their morale high," he said.
Deepa Malik, a silver medallist at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, who has already booked an Olympic quote place in shot put, was touched by Arhan's efforts.
"You feel pampered and honoured. It feels nice. We miss our people when we compete in Europe and now you have got a backup and a scientific approach on various disabilities. Now we know which gym we can go and where?," she said after the launch.
44-year-old Deepa, an Arjuna Awardee, is expected compete at Rio Paralympics along with 15 others.
"I got 'A' qualification in shot put. I have earned a quota and hopefully I will be there."
According to rules, top-six in individual rankings get selected for the competition.
Deepa, who is paraplegic, said more athletes could have qualified for the Rio Games but for suspended PCI.
"We want the ban to be lifted so that the pool of talent which is there can be used. We could have sent more entries. We are missing at least 15-20 athletes."
She acknowledged the help of media in getting Para athletes into government's TOPS scheme.