New Delhi: Amending the policy for para-athletes to make them eligible for more cash awards, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday handed over Rs 1.82 crore to the medallists of the Para-Badminton World Championship.
As per the amended guidelines, medal winners in world events and world championships which are organised by International Paralympic Committee as well as in events that are not organised by IPC, but organised by respective International Sports Federation and recognised by International Olympic Committee, will be eligible for cash awards from the government.
It has also been decided that medal winners will be given their cash awards the day they return to the country after an international event, and will "not have to wait for a once-a-year ceremony", as was the norm earlier.
The first set of athletes who received their cash awards under the changed guidelines are para-badminton players, who have just won 12 medals at the recently-concluded World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
IPC does not organise para-badminton events, and under the previous guidelines these players would not be eligible for cash awards from the government.
The medal winners met the sports minister over lunch at the Sports Authority of India and were handed over the cheques. While the gold medal winners took home Rs 20 lakh, the silver medallists were given 14 lakh and bronze winners Rs 8 lakh each. Winners in the doubles events won Rs 15 lakh each for gold, Rs 10.5 lakh each for silver and Rs 6 lakh for bronze. "We want to ensure that all athletes are provided the same facilities by the government. The para-badminton team has performed very well and brought glory to the country, they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work," Rijiju said.