New Delhi: Paralympic athletes who have won accolades and medals for India during the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games will be treated at par with the country's Olympic athletes, and will also be considered for the prestigious Khel Ratna awards. Union Minister Vijay Goel made the announcement on Saturday, on a trip to Hyderabad, where he visited the badminton academy run by India's chief national selector Pullela Gopichand.
The minister tried to play down his earlier remark, wherein he said that there were no policies in place for Paralympians receiving the Khel Ratna, India's highest honour for sportspersons.
He reportedly asked Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu what would she prefer, "an Olympic medal or a Khel Ratna Award”. To that, Sindhu, said, she prefers the medal.
“Now you got the answer from the athlete herself,” the Minister said.
"Paralympic athletes brought a huge honour to the country. We are proud of them and they will be rewarded in the same manner like Sindhu and Sakshi [Malik]," he added. India have won four medals at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, two gold, one silver and one bronze.