Earlier this month, 15 Indian parasport federations, organizations serving parasports people and other civil societies formed an umbrella group called the Indian Association of Para Sport Organizations (IAPSO). Other organizations involved with this new organization include NGOs like Samarathanam Trust for the Disabled, Shree Pragna ChackshuGurukul, Viklang Vishwas Foudation, Samarathan Education & Charitable Trust, Real Human, Disabled Youth Foundation, Shree Unikue Viklang Charitable Trust, Cerebral Palsy Sports Association of India. The group has several focuses related to the development of parasport in India. These include doping and classification for para-sportspeople, accessibility of sport for all and for elite athletes, while being both autonomous and transparent in their actions.
The new organization is headed by previous Paralympic Committee of India President and current Asian Paralympic Committee member Rajesh Tomar. The newly elected Chairman of the IAPSO was quoted in a press release as saying, “A joint forum of the stake holders of para sports had a two days marathon brain storming session towards para sport for development towards 2020 & beyond. Our key focus was to design a strategy for transforming para sports from disability sports into a sports organization which will empower the para athletes not only in the field of sports but also in education, health, training and employment.” Rajesh Tomar was suspended by the PCI following a meeting of the Executive Committee, in which the PCI had also announced plans to bring criminal and civil charges against him for his involvement in Indian Athletics Championships.
Tomar’s involvement with the IAPSO and IAPSO signalling that they will be looking for recognition from the Government of India and the International Paralympic Committee as the NPC for India likely will set off another round of internal battles for control of the governance of disability sport in India. Tomar was not elected to the new Executive Committee of the current Paralympic Committee of India. This situation will likely result in further delays in getting India unsuspended and an Indian NPC recognized by the IPC.