New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): Para-badminton star Pramod Bhagat lauded the efforts of the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to host the first-ever Khelo India Para Games, saying that he believes that this initiative will increase India’s medal tally in main multi-discipline occasions such because the Olympics and Asian Games.
Bhagat at present is ranked world no.2 in para-badminton males’s singles SL3 and gained a gold medal on the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. At the latest Hangzhou Asian Para Games, Bhagat clinched a gold in males’s singles, and a bronze every in males’s doubles and blended doubles.
“After the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with us (para-athletes) just like he met with the able-bodied athletes. When he spoke with us, he had expressed that all sports are equal and I feel like we a reaping results because of this thought of the Prime Minister to provide equal opportunity to us,” Bhagat mentioned.
“After that meeting with the PM, we all hoped that a Khelo India Games will be held for para-athletes too and I am very happy and excited that the first-ever Khelo India Para Games is set to begin in New Delhi this December. I certainly feel that Khelo India Para Games will further boost the para-sports ecosystem in the country, help identify a larger talent pool and it will help increase the medal tally in upcoming Paralympics and Asian Para Games,” he added.
Bhagat additional acknowledged that the Khelo India initiative has aided in creating a robust state-wise sports activities ecosystem with state governments selling all disciplines with the intention to carry out properly in these annual Khelo India Games. Now with the inaugural version of the Khelo India Para Games, one can witness related efforts by state governments to advertise para sports activities. He mentioned, “I believe this initiative will give a new future for para-athletes. Earlier, para sports was mostly a national-level initiative but now under the Khelo India flagship, all states will also establish a strong system to promote para sports.”Since 2018, a complete of 11 Khelo India Games have been efficiently held. This contains 5 Khelo India Youth Games, three Khelo India University Games and three Khelo India Winter Games.
The first-ever Khelo India Para Games is scheduled to be held from December 10 to December 17, 2023.
“I am very sure this platform will be well-utilised by para-athletes. The Khelo India Para Games will definitely help in identifying many more talented para-athletes and support them with the TOPS scheme. In the recent Asian Para Games, we finished 5th in the overall medal tally with 111 medals and I can vouch that the initiatives taken by the government will help us reach the top 3 in the next Asian Para Games,” Bhagat asserted.
Over 1400 contributors from throughout 32 states and union territories together with the Services Sports Control Board are anticipated to take part within the maiden Khelo India Para Games which is able to witness para athletes vie for honours in 7 disciplines together with para athletics, para taking pictures, para archery, para soccer, para-badminton, para desk tennis and para weight lifting. The occasions might be held throughout three SAI stadiums – the IG Stadium, the Shooting Range in Tughlaqabad and the JLN Stadium. (ANI)