Naidu in Gurugram: Paralympians felicitated, youngsters urged to make sports a ‘way of life’
India has a young population and it must take inspiration from the players who participated and won gold medals in the recently concluded Paralympics and Olympics, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said at an event organised at Northcap University in Sector 23 to felicitate Haryana’s medallists as well as participants in the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
Naidu, calling upon youngsters to make physical fitness and sports a way of life, distributed prize money of ₹27 crore among 19 medallists and participants. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was also present with Naidu at the event.
Naidu said that the performance of players from the state was “phenomenal” and the contribution of such a small state in the medal tally was “unbelievable”. He also said that winning in Tokyo was not easy as the Olympics and Paralympics were organised in unusual circumstances and the training of players was also interrupted.
“Achieving such a historical success in sports is not very easy. It is the continuous practice, dedication, and hard work a player puts during the process which makes them achieve the planned goal,” Naidu said.
Addressing the gathering, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said that the government is committed to supporting sportspersons by providing all the necessary help and development of sports infrastructure.
“We have ensured that prize money reaches the sportsmen and there is no delay. We are also developing a Paralympic sports complex in Faridabad and it will also have a hostel,” he said, adding that more sports nurseries and stadiums will be developed across Haryana.
Khattar also said that Haryana is the first state in the country to give maximum cash prizes to sportspersons who have won medals in the Olympics and Paralympics. In the Olympics and Paralympics, a cash prize of ₹6 crore was awarded to gold medallists, ₹4 crore to silver medallists and ₹2.5 crore to bronze medallists. Apart from this, ₹15 lakhs is also provided to each participant, Khattar said.
Speaking on the occasion, Haryana sports minister Sandeep Singh said that these players have brought laurels to the state and the nation with their exemplary performances in the Tokyo Paralympics. “Our target would be to send 100 players to the next Paralympics and win more medals,” he said.
Sportspersons from the state, Harinder Singh, Singhraj Adhana, Yogesh Kathunia, Manish Narwal, Sumit Antil, Tarun Dhillon, Navdeep Singh, Vinod Kumar, Aruna Tanwar, Deepak Saini, Rahul Jakhar, Jaideep Deswal, Ranjit Bhati, Rampal, Dharambir Nain, Amit Kumar Saroha, Tekchand, Arvind Malik and Ekta Bhayan, were felicitated for winning medals and participating in the Paralympics.
Olympic gold medallist in javelin throw, Neeraj Chopra, wrestling silver medallist, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, and Sumit, a member of the men’s hockey team that bagged the bronze medal, were also felicitated on the occasion.