Lack of media coverage for Rio Paralympics in India draws flak
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
In a surprising move, none of the Indian broadcasters (including Doordarshan) have bought the rights to broadcast the Paralympics.
A visually impaired woman participates in a rally to make the masses aware of Paralympics and disability sports ahead of Rio Paralympics 2016, in Kolkata. (Photo: PTI)
And this has elicited fervent calls from Civilian Welfare Foundation, a city-based NGO, to give a proper media coverage in order to give them their due credit.
CWF is the first NGO in
"To discuss this injustice and discrimination against Indian athletes with disabilities, the first Indian-origin person selected to serve as Chaplain for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rev. Zenji Nio has skipped the opening ceremonies in Rio and flew in from the Olympic Village to discuss this issue in landmark press conferences being organized in both Kolkata and New Delhi by the Civilian Welfare Foundation," stated Pradeep Raj, an International Para athlete and founder of Para Sports Foundation.
"The state of Paralympics sports in respect to promotion and broadcast is sincerely poor in
According to Pradeep, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting should take effective steps to telecast Rio Paralympics 2016 in accessible format on Doordarshan.
Elaborating further, Rev Nio, who was recently lauded by the Olympic media for coaching 50 medalists as well as conducting the first marriage ceremony in an Olympic Village, said: "the theme for Rio 2016 is diversity and enabling the Indian public to view the heroic efforts of the Paralympians can be inspirational and empowering to all viewers.
"Furthermore, the Paralympics can serve to change attitudes and perceptions towards people with disabilities and open vistas of visibility, opportunity and exposure for them. The games village after the Olympics has been completely revamped in terms of signage and disability accessibility and a makeover look has been provided. The undercurrent thought is that Paralympics no longer needs to be under the shadow of Olympics - an attitude
The press conferences not only focused on the problems facing Indian athletes with disabilities but also explore potential solutions. The speakers stressed on working along with mainstream media regarding how the more coverage on the athletes could be fetched.
The event, starting from September 7, will see Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, the country's first Paralympic gold medallist (Athens 2004), competing for his second medal.