A 54-member, largest ever Indian contingent was given a formal and virtual send-off today to Tokyo Paralympic Games by Union Minister for Youth Affairs and SportsShri Anurag SinghThakur. The athletes were addressed and sent best wishes by Shri Anurag Thakur via a video message. Minister of Tourism Shri G.K Reddy, and MoS External Affairs and Culture SmtMeenakshi Lekhi were also present and addressed the athletes.
At the formal send-off ceremony, Shri Anurag Thakur said, “India is sending it’s largest ever contingent to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo – 54 para-sportspersons across 9 sports disciplines. The passion of our Para-Athletes shows their phenomenal human spirit. Remember that when you play for India you will have a 130 crore Indians cheering for you! I am extremely confident that our para- athletes will give their optimum best! Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi had met our Rio 2016 Paralympic Games athletes and has always had a keen interest for the welfare of our athletes and focussed the government’s approach on nurturing talent along with development of sports Infrastructure across the country. Here’s wishing them the very best!”
Minister of Tourism, G.K Reddysaid, “Blessings of whole nation are with the athletes and national flag should fly high again in Tokyo. It is dream of every player to do good at international level and make its country proud and he firmly believes that Paralympic athletes will fulfil this dream”.The Union Minister also added that the Government has always supported sportspersons and said that the vision of the Prime Minister needed to be lauded in conceiving the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in 2014.
In her address to athletes MoS External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi said “In accordance with the vision of Prime Minister, alldivyaang brothers, sisters and children are part of one India and we all are together. AsIndia is confidently moving towards 75th year of independence, Paralympic athletes are also moving ahead with same confidence”. She also increased the enthusiasm of the athletes by making a victory sign along with the athletes.
Deepa Malik, President of Paralympic Committee of India said “Everyone has worked very hard and we are looking at very amazing competition at Tokyo 2020 and are very confident that we are going to bring lot of joy, lot of glory to the tricolour.” Shri Gursharan Singh and Shri Ashok Bedi of Paralympic Committee were also present on the occasion.
54 athletes from India will be competing in 9 sports disciplines including Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), Badminton, Swimming, Weight Liftingamong others.This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics.