The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to give Rs 2.25 lakh to Balwinder Kaur Noori, a visually-impaired athlete.
The state government was directed to give the cash award, along with an appreciation letter, within four weeks on the petition filed by the athlete who had won a bronze medal for the country in shot put in an international competition for physically-handicapped persons at Sharjah (UAE) in February 2014.
The HC criticised the government for its submission that cash awards for state-level, national as well as international competitions could not be given to the petitioner due to shortage of funds.
The petitioner had submitted that she had also won 12 medals in various competitions at the state and national levels since 2010, but the Punjab government had not given any cash award to her so far, even though the amount was envisaged under the existing Sports Policy of 2010.
The petitioner has demanded that cash awards payable to visually-impaired athletes must be equal or in proportion to the amount of such cash award payable to able-bodied persons in any athletic competition.