The Punjab government on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it was considering a proposal to treat medallists of Paralympics, Para Asian Games and Para Commonwealth Games on a par with medallists of the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
The government was responding to a civil writ petition filed by a visually impaired athlete, Balvinder Kaur, seeking the issuance of appropriate directions to the state to give her cash awards, to which she was entitled under the Punjab government’s sports policy.
Balvinder pleaded that the winners of the bronze medal in the Olympics were entitled to a cash award of Rs 51 lakh, whereas the winner of this medal in the Paralympics (Olympic Games for the handicapped) was entitled to a cash award of Rs 2 lakh only. The winner of the bronze medal in international competitions for the handicapped was entitled to a cash award of only Rs 75,000, which was discriminatory against such sportspersons, she argued.
On her allegations of discriminatory treatment, the state government had submitted that it had disbursed cash awards only to the medallists of the 2014 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in November last year as a special case.
The government told the HC that regarding the medals won or positions secured by Balvinder in 12 competitions at the state and inter-state levels, as mentioned by her in the petition, she would be considered for the cash awards.
Balvinder had participated in the 4th International Open Athletics Meet held at Sharjah (UAE) on February 27-28, 2014.
The petition would come up for further hearing on January 20.