Paralympics silver medal winner Deepa Malik plans to start a campaign in Gurgaon and other parts of Haryana to provide gyms and others sports facilities for para-athletes in schools.
Malik said the government should help create comfort zones for differently-abled children so that they can excel in sports. She said getting medals in any form of sport is difficult without a grass roots movement.
Talking about the campaign, which she will launch from next month, Malik said three parameters -- infrastructure, trainers and food and nutrition – are vital for para-athletes to be successful.
The sportsperson from Haryana pointed to the lack of facilities for para-athletes in Gurgaon schools.
“I will spread awareness and run campaigns to promote para-sports in the state and country. I will encourage targeting the potential in the children with special abilities,” she said.
Malik said the sports minister should hold open house meetings with para-athletes once in three months. “He should hear them regularly to know the challenges they face while practising and deal with them,” she said.
The sports policy should be formed keeping in mind physically challenged kids, she said.
Malik created history when she became the first Indian woman to win a medal in the paralympics. She won silver in the women’s shot put event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games for which the Haryana government announced a reward of Rs 4 crore.
The government plans a felicitation ceremony for the athlete.
“I want to start an academy, which will be first-of-its-kind for para-athletes. There will be no age bar and we want to nurture potential athletes who have zest to do something in life. People from the lower income group, especially women who want to do something in life, will be given a platform,” she said.
Malik said she will ask for a plot of land to develop the special academy for para-athletes.