Govt announces Rs 90 lakh cash rewards for Rio Paralympians


New Delhi: Acknowledging the contribution made by paralympic athletes to Indian sports and social upliftment, the Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment on Thursday announced cash rewards of a total of Rs 90 lakhs for Rio Paralympics 2016 medallists.

Meanwhile Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawaarchand Gehlot said that the cash awards are being given under the Awareness Generation and Publicity (AGP) scheme. Gehlot said he will felicitate medal winners at a special felicitation programme.

Gold medal winners Mariyappan Thangavelu and Devendra Jhajharia will be awarded Rs 30 lakhs each, silver medallist Deepa Malik will be given Rs 20 lakh and Varun Singh Bhati will be honoured with Rs 10 lakh for winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

“Indian para-athletes bagged [an] impressive four medals at the Rio Paralympics 2016 and made history. The success of para athletes has made India proud. The department has decided to award cash prize of total Rs 90 lakh to medal winners,” said Gehlot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already hailed the best ever performance of Indian Paralympians in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. The showing was India’s best ever in Paralympics history. Mariyappan Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89 metres to bag the gold medal while Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86m to finish third and won bronze. Devendra Jhajharia clinched Gold in Javelin throw while Deepa Malik bagged silver in shot put to become the first ever Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics Games.

India sent its biggest-ever contingent of 19 athletes to the Rio Paralympics 2016. More than 4400 athletes from 160 countries participated at the Rio Games from September 7 to September 18.