New Delhi: India’s apathy towards the fringe sports is nothing new. In yet another case of utter negligence, para-swimmer Kanchanmala Pande was left to her own devices after she headed to Germany to participate in the Para Swimming Championship.
Completely shunned by the federation that sent her there, Pande was forced to take to the streets to beg and borrow money, according to Daily Mail.
Pande, who is blind and competes in the S11 category, clinched silver, a feat that helped her qualify for the World Championships.
Seeing such apathy from the government, 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra took to Twitter to bring out his ire about the predicament of the para-athletes. He even went on to tag Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet.
Horrible stuff to read... Changes need to be made in the way we perceive sport and the way we run it... The current system is a shame... https://t.co/rzGVuypIam— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) July 12, 2017
While there has not been any reply from Modi as of yet, Goel did send out a reply to Bindra, saying that the funds for the welfare of the athletes on the tour were arranged by the Ministry for Your Affairs and Sports (MYAS) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), to the Paralympics Council of India (PCI).
This is not the first time that the PCI has come under the scanner for apathy towards the para-athletes. The 2015 Natanional Paralympics Championship saw large-scale apathy from the PCI, with reports of lack of basic amenities like water and fans flooding the media.
Some of the facilities also lacked the proper infrastructure to allow the para-athletes using wheelchairs properly use the stairs. The PCI was temporarily suspended by the International Paralympics Committee, after this.