Paralympic medallists too will get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Sports minister

Devendra Jhajharia RioNew Delhi: India sent its largest contingent ever in the Rio Paralympics, comprising 19 athletes and four of them have brought glory to India by winning medals. Both Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold, while Deepa Malik and Varun Singh Bhati won silver and bronze, respectively. These athletes have a reason to rejoice as the sports minister has announced that they will be awarded the prestigious Khel Ratna.

India's Paralympic medallists will be treated at par with the other Olympic medal winners and will be bestowed with Khel Ratna next year, according to sports minister Vijay Goel. To everyone's surprise, he announced that all the Paralympics medallists will be conferred with Khel Ratna.

The news brought a joy on the faces of many. The amount of hard work that these athletes put is enormous and the need to honour them is our duty and we should be thankful to the ministry for not refusing it.

The talk about the Sports ministry being partial towards the Paralympics athletes has always been there and particularly after the central government's announcement of Rs 75 lakh to Maryappan and nearly three times of that to PV Sindhu.

The Sports Minister has also launched an online portal to scout talent across the country. This is the most welcomed move as almost all countries have launched scouts way earlier. This move helps identify talents across the country and groom them to achieve their goals.