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New Delhi [India], September 10 (ANI): Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar and Minister of State Ramdas Athawale on Friday felicitated 2020 Tokyo Paralympics medal winners in Delhi.
The para-athletes were also given a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for the gold medal, Rs 8 lakhs for the silver medal, and Rs 5 lakh for the bronze medal.
Speaking on the occasion, Kumar said that the whole country was proud of the players' achievements and praised President of Paralympic Committee Deepa Malik and Chief Para Athletics Coach Satyanarayana for their support and encouragement to the athletes.
"Last year, we had sent 19 participants and had won 4 medals. This year, we sent 54 participants and won 19 medals. This shows that our efforts have been successful and we will continue our efforts to double these medals in the next Paralympics," he stated.
Kumar also said that this was the first time the Paralympics winners were felicitated with a cash prize and it was done to encourage them to keep performing and make India proud.
Kumar further announced that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is going to establish a sports stadium for specially-abled sportspersons in Gwalior that will cost around Rs 175 crore and will have sports and hostel facilities for the athletes. "We have a target to get this project completed by June 15, 2020," he added.
Athawale congratulated the Paralympic winners and said that they are a source of inspiration for having achieved such success despite their limitations. He also expressed hope that this successful endeavour will continue till the next Paralympics.
Deepa Malik expressed her gratitude towards the ministers for felicitating and encouraging the athletes. "It is like a homecoming for us. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is like a home to us from where we go to the Sports Ministry to participate," she stated.
Malik said that being a specially-abled woman herself, it gave her great joy to see all these athletes achieve great success. "In the next Paralympics, the medals might be in double digits, but India's position would be in single digits," she said.
Indian contingent finished their campaign at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 at an all-time high by securing a total of 19 medals which include 5 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze medals. (ANI)