Deaflympics athletes protest at Delhi Airport against government apathy

The Indian contingent of hearing impaired athletes expected a grand welcome but to their dismay, not even a single person was there to receive them. To protest the lack of recognition, the players and support staff refused to leave Delhi airport.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: August 1, 2017 5:09:38 pm

deaflympics, Ketan Shah, hearing impaired athletes, india at deaflympics, Virender Singh, Ajay Kumar, Sumit Dahiya, sports news, indian express Deaflympics players at the Delhi Airport. (Source: ANI)

After representing India at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics at Samsun in Turkey and returning back with five medals including one gold, the Indian contingent of hearing impaired athletes expected a grand welcome but to their dismay, not even a single person was there to receive them. To protest the lack of recognition, the players and support staff refused to leave Delhi airport.

In the best ever performance for India at the tournament, the contingent consisting of 46 athletes as well as support staff are unhappy with the government, claiming that Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel did not speak to them, let alone acknowledge their victory.

All India Council Interpreter and Project Officer Ketan Shah said in an interview to NDTV, “We celebrate the success of the Olympics players and even Paralympics athletes then why can’t we give the same recognition to these players. This is our best ever show in deaflympics including a gold medal which is the best ever performance by India.”

“These medal winners made nation proud but no one not even sports minister here to welcome us. We also tried to get in touch with the Director General of the Sports Authority of India and Sports Minister Vijay Goel but they didn’t pay any heed. We had mailed them and informed them on July 25 itself that we will be coming on August 1 but we haven’t got any reply. Since morning, we have been calling them and no one is ready to entertain us. No one is here to greet or meet the players and it’s a bit let down for the team,” he added.

Virender Singh secured gold in the 74kg freestyle wrestling while Ajay Kumar and Sumit Dahiya bagged bronze medals in 65kg anf 97kg respectively. Golfer Diksha Dagar clinched a silver while Prithvi Sekhar and Jafreen Shaik earned bronze in men’s doubles tennis event.

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