India’s Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Sarbananda Sonowal said in an interview with The Economic Times published today that Paralympians competing at the Paralympic Games and Asian Para Games will now get as much prize money for medals that their Olympian and Asian Games counterparts get.
The Economic Times quotes Sonowal as saying, “So far as Para athletes are concerned, we have set up a special training facility at Gandhinagar. And Paralympic Games and Asian Para Games medalists will now get as much in award money from the government as medalists in Olympics and Asian Games get.”
In March of this year, Sonowal was part of the push to investigate actions by the Paralympic Committee of India related to the awful conditions at the 600 athlete strong Indian National Para-Athletics Championships. The government later withdrew recognition from the Paralympic Committee of India, which came days after the International Paralympic Committee suspended the organization.
As it currently stands, India cannot participate in the 2016 Summer Paralympics because of the suspension. There are behind the scenes efforts to enable Indians to compete, though there is no report yet on how this may work. Elite Indian athletes are currently competing at the IBSA World Games, which are organized by the IBSA, not the IPC. Indians competing there are represented by the Indian Blind Sports Association.