March 29, 2015

NPRD: Derecognise the Paralympic Committee of India

THE executive committee of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) in a statement issued on March 22, lodged its strongest protest against the pathetic conditions in which participants at the 15th National Para-Athletic Championship have been put in a camp in Ghaziabad. Over 600 athletes from different parts of the country have been lodged in some under construction buildings with even the basic facilities lacking. What they have for toilets are inaccessible mobile toilets that have been put up at the venue forcing many of the participants to defecate in the open. The plight of women participants is worse and they have not bathed since they have arrived. The shameless and insensitive manner in which the athletes have been treated is unpardonable. There have been allegations galore in the past about the functioning of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), especially about it being steeped in corruption and not being a truly representative body of athletes. The PCI has been organising games in the same manner all these years giving two hoots to the concerns of the participants. All protests by athletes have failed to move the body and they act with impunity. It is unfortunate that the Sports ministry which had derecognised this body headed by the same individuals two times in the past, once again gave them recognition. This has further emboldened them. It is natural that there are apprehensions as far as the holding of the international sports event scheduled to be held in Delhi in May this year. Given its track record, it is incumbent upon the government that the PCI be derecognised and divested of the responsibility to hold this international event. An enquiry also needs to be instituted to go into the entire gamut of the functioning of this body including its financial dealings.