If you thought that being a rich sport governing body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India was the only sports organization, which was allegedly associated with corruption, you may be totally wrong. Even the lesser known sports body like the Paralympic Committee Of India, which is the National body to deal with sports associated with persons with disabilities is said to be marked with corruption and ignores the para athletes, who sweat so hard in the open to bring honour to the country.
Now, for the very first time, those who really care about para sports in India, including the Para-athletes, para federations and para organizations have come under the umbrella of Indian Association Of Para Sport Organisation to look into various issues facing para-athletics in the country such as, accessibility, autonomy, doping, classification and transparency and seek a solution to these issues. As Mr. Mahantesh G.K., the Managing Trustee of Samarthanam Trust and Chief Convenor of IAPSO puts it, “It’s a privilege and pride for all para sport federations and organisations of India who have taken unique initiative as a challenge to raise the platform of para sport in India to enhance the potentiality and capabilities of para athletes in India.”
The new organization, which apart from 18 different federations, previously affiliated with the suspended Paralympic Committee Of India, also has support of Sports Association of India and various NGOs working the field of disability and sports , will work towards strengthening para-sports in the country.
The newly-elected chairperson of Indian Association Of Para Sport Organisation, Mr Rajesh Tomar while requesting all stakeholders including the government to take initiative to especially design para-sports programs for children and women, said, “Sport should not be treated in isolation. All the efforts should be made for human development of the specially abled persons (Divyang) and this can be done through professional approach and clear vision. There is a need to establish a larger pool of technical officials, classifiers, anti-doping, sports event organisers and media “
Mr Tomar added that the organization had a two days consultation, where apart from developing a plan of action for papa-sports till 2020, “The focus was to design a strategy for transforming para sports from disability sports into a sports organization which will empower the para athletes not only in the field of sports but also in education, health, training and employment.”
The para-sports in India has been the victims of politics and the real people suffering are none other than the para-athletes themselves. We at VRNeighbours, as part of our endeavour to support any initiative which gives a boost to Indian sports, not only welcome the formation of Indian Association Of Para Sport Organisation but also hope it will help all the para-athletes acquire their right place in the sporting arena.
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