New Delhi, Oct 17: Describing them as "true icons" of the country, the government on Tuesday (October 16) felicitated the medal winners at the just-concluded Asian Para Games with cash awards at par with able-bodied athletes, following India's record haul in the Continental event.
The gold medal winners were given a cash award of Rs 30 lakh each, while silver and bronze medallists took home Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
Every Indian is proud of our contingent at the 2018 Asian Para Games. Each athlete's life journey inspires us and we all wish them the very best for their endeavours in the years to come! pic.twitter.com/MVtbfO1l9c— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 16, 2018
Present on the occasion were Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Sports Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and Sports India (erstwhile Sports Authority of India) Director General Neelam Kapur among others.
Later, the athletes interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the PM congratulated them for their unprecedented show at the continental event where India achieved its best-ever medal haul.
It was a delight to interact with the medal winners of the Asian Para Games held in Jakarta recently. pic.twitter.com/Sxns6lNDZO— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 16, 2018
"Every Indian is proud of our contingent at the 2018 Asian Para Games. Each athlete's life journey inspires us and we all wish them the very best for their endeavours in the years to come," PM Modi captioned the images of his interaction with the athletes.
Indian para-athletes recorded their biggest ever medal haul in the history of the Games by bagging 72 medals, including 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore congratulated the medal winners and thanked them for making the country proud.
As PM @narendramodi ji felicitates the Asian Para Games' Champions, we celebrate their unprecedented performance. They have proven than no obstacle is a match for willpower!— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) October 16, 2018
PM @narendramodi ji's leadership continues to guide Indian sports to ever greater heights! pic.twitter.com/3mFxKtjo9u
"You guys are true icons of the country. This journey was not easy because you guys have overcome many obstacles in life. Many might have given up but you guys didn't. It proves your self-determination. Many people might have doubted your abilities but today you have proved them wrong," he said.
Felicitated our champions of #AsianParaGames2018 w/ @TCGEHLOT ji.— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) October 16, 2018
These stars have created history by recording the highest medal tally ever for India in #AsianParaGames.
Wishing them all the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/QjHSC6mdIe
Rathore stressed that the para-athletes have full support from the government, which doesn't differentiate between them and the able bodies sportspersons.
"The Sports Ministry and the government is fully with you guys. We have set up a Centre of Excellence in a new stadium at Gandhinagar exclusively for you guys," he informed.
The Sports Minister reminded the para-athletes now to focus on 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. In the last edition of the Asian Para Games, India won 33 medals, including 3 gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze medals.
(With inputs from PTI)