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Much needed help at hand

The 19th Commonwealth Games has turned into a boon for para athletes. At the Games Village, a free workshop for a complete overhaul of their wheelchairs and other equipment has become a hit with these athletes.

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2010 22:53 IST
Vijaita Singh

The 19th Commonwealth Games has turned into a boon for para athletes.

At the Games Village, a free workshop for a complete overhaul of their wheelchairs and other equipment has become a hit with these athletes.

"Their wheelchairs are mostly donated ones and not in very good shape. They go for a complete change of the tubes and other parts," said Gurpreet Kaur, an attendant at the workshop.

The workshop that was set up on September 23 has already fixed more than 80 wheelchairs and other equipment.

Obiora Faith, a para table tennis player from Nigeria who had come at the workshop, said, "I have to compete tomorrow morning. The left rim of my wheelchair is damaged so I have come here to get it fixed. I bought this one in my country."

Otto Bock, a German company, is running the workshop. Faith said that the facilities at the Village were "magnificent" and this one was her "favourite centre".

"I love the food they serve at the kitchen but this centre has really been of help to me," said Faith while giving instructions to one of the attendants.

"This platform gives them a good chance to get spare parts of international standards. Most of the wheelchairs were damaged before they came to Delhi. We are not complaining as it is a service we are giving to the nation," Kaur added.

And then there are some athletes who choose to do the work on their own.

"We have several clients who do not want to take help of the technicians. They like to do the repair work themselves. If there is any need, we assist them," the attendant added.