Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Oct 17 (ANI): Indian shuttler Pramod Bhagat, who had clinched a gold and bronze medal in the recently-concluded third edition of the Para Asian Games, has questioned the ignorant attitude of Odisha government towards para-athletes.
Bhagat said that despite giving a better performance than the "normal" athletes at the international level, the government is serving them with a discriminatory treatment.
Speaking to ANI, Bhagat said, "I have just one thing to ask from the government. At our centre, we face no discrimination then why the state government has adopted such an ignorant attitude towards para-athletes. Normal athletes are rewarded ten times better than us. We are giving better performance but still, we are facing discrimination."
The Odisha player further stated that India is lagging behind in terms of facilities for para-athletes as compared to nations like Japan and China. This is the reason why India is progressing at such a slow pace in the sports field, he continued.
"In countries like Japan, China.....para-athletes are treated no less than the normal players. This is the reason they are progressing. We are not even close to them in terms of facilities. That is why we lag behind," he said.
Reflecting on his Para Asiad feat, the shuttler said that he is proud to have won medals for the country.
Bhagat had bagged a gold medal by defeating Ukun Rukaendi of Indonesia 21-19, 15-21, 21-14 in men's singles SL3 class badminton at the Para Asian Games.
The shuttler had also won a bronze medal in para-badminton doubles event after he, along with compatriot Manoj Sarkar, lost 13-21, 19-21 to the Indonesian pair of Dwiyoko and Fredy Setiawan in their semi-final clash. (ANI)