After a historic performance at The Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Indian contingent proves its mettle once again at the highest level of sports. Indian Athletes have certainly given us moments to be cherished forever at The Tokyo Paralympic Games with Best Ever Total Medal Tally of 19. This performance is special in many ways and it would prove to be a foundation of future sports glory which the country will achieve in coming years.

Without an iota of doubt, we have come a long way in our Paralympics journey, from sending 10-15 athletes to the previous Paralympics to winning 19 medals, this is indeed a very special moment. As much as this is a matter of celebration and pride, this is also a moment of acknowledging the significance of making the right policies, implementing them on the ground and supporting our athletes through the struggles of training, injuries, wins and heartbreaks.

Our performance at the Paralympics also tells a positive side of the story of our sports. It signifies that we have evolved as a society. A country can only be called progressive and inclusive when its differently-abled citizens are provided with equal opportunities, support and respect. We have witnessed how serious authorities were for these Paralympics and other such games in the previous few years. It gives me hope to see our Paralympic athletes getting their due attention and recognition in the media and by the whole country. Everyone in the country truly cherished heroic performances by Indian athletes throughout the competition.

As someone who is closely associated with sports and physical education, I am elated to see the level of commitment that went into preparation for these games. The planning and execution of sports authorities like PCI and SAI have been professional. The role of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has also been significant and commendable. Their efforts have started yielding results in the form of medals and improved ranking in the world of sports. Whether it comes to the development of special facilities for differently-abled athletes, providing top-class customized equipment and training, motivation and support, nothing was compromised. This shows that the culture of sports administration in India has come of age and we are definitely onto becoming a leading nation in terms of sports.

The Paralympics 2020 story will be cherished forever, and the country will never forget the utmost courage and commitment of our athletes. Although we cannot deny the fact that there is a lot to be done when it comes to providing sports infrastructure for differently-abled athletes. There are very few facilities with support training for differently-abled. Our athletes have shown that if provided with the support they can do wonders. Therefore, we must not lose this momentum and should focus on developing sports infrastructure in schools and universities that support training for differently-abled athletes along with the regular athletes.

Along with the sports infrastructure our differently-abled athletes need extra support from sponsors for specialized customized equipment suiting their physical challenges. Any kind of sport attracts sponsors’ money, only when it has a sizable audience. This is a challenge that can only be addressed collectively by citizens of the country. Therefore, I would like to request my fellow countrymen to continuously support our differently-abled athletes with the same amount of love, respect and opportunities. I am certain that after this performance sports authorities will expedite the development of inclusive sports infrastructure and institutions across the country, in order to make our athletes shine like the superstars they already are.

Team #PEFI 

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