Having talked to a pair of Indian Paralympians competing at the Rio Games, both are content with the level of support that the Sports Authority of India has been providing them in the lead up to the Games. This includes access to facilities for training, funding to support training and funding to support their ability to compete internationally. It also includes the Sports Authority of India lobbying on behalf of Indian para-sportspeople to try to qualify for additional spots at the Rio Games via Bipatriate Invitation.
Because of the suspension of the Paralympic Committee of India, the Sports Authority of India has largely taken over governance of Paralympic sports in the country. This cannot be a long term solution though as International Paralympic Committee rules do not allow government interference in sports, and the Sports Authority of India is a government body. The suspension issue is also why India failed to be allocated spots in some sports via Bipatriate Invitation, because it resulted in missed deadlines and ran into other internal governance issues.
The inability to qualify sportspeople via the Bipatriate Invitation process potentially is most felt in powerlifting. Sakina Khaton is India’s current national women’s champion in the sport, and is ranked eighth in the world. She is coached by Rio Paralympian Farman Basha, and is an inspiration to many other women lifters in India. Because of how qualification worked, Basha qualified for Rio based on ranking allocation as he was eighth in his weight class. While Khaton was also ranked eighth, the women’s qualification side stipulated female lifters be ranked in the top six. Khaton just missed out, and missed deadlines left her out of the running for that Bipatriate Invitation spot. Three other men’s lifters were also left out of potentially going to Rio for similar issues. The Sports Authority of India lobbied unsuccessfully on their behalf.
Despite these issues, and with the support of the Sports Authority of India, the country sent its largest delegation to the Paralympic Games in its history. The team has 19 members, 16 men and 3 women.