The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Signpost India, celebrated the International Paralympic Day here on Sunday.
The celebration was aimed to raise awareness around para sports and to celebrate the achievements of athletes with disabilities. The day began with a march of around 250 para athletes at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in the afternoon hours.
An awards function was held later to recognise India’s best para athletes.
Deepa Malik, President of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), stated that the Indian Paralympics movement has come a long way since the initial days of struggle.
“The Paralympic movement has changed so many lives. This has given people with disabilities a new berth, new empowerment and new lives. It has made para athletes a better version of themselves,” Deepa said.
“It has been the vision of our honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to see new India as inclusive India, and this event is furthering his vision to help India be recognized globally for promoting diversity and inclusion through sports,” Deepa said.
Satyanarayana, Chairman-Para Athletics, PCI said, “This is the first time we are celebrating International Paralympic Day and this will start a legacy of inspiration to create awareness and enhance confidence of rural and financially underserved para-athletes.”
Tokyo Paralympics 10m air rifle gold medallist Avani Lekhara won the ‘Best Female Athlete’ award. “I send my best wishes to all our athletes who will compete in the upcoming Asian Para Games. This award will motivate me to win more medals for India,” Avani said.
Sumit, who holds the javelin world record having thrown 70.83 meters at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, won the ‘Best Male Athlete’ award.