The minister also lauded India’s Paralympic athletes for bringing huge honour to the country.
India’s Paralympic medallists will be treated on par with Olympic medallists and will be given the Khel Ratna from next year onward. Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel made the announcement in Hyderabad on Sunday while visiting the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, according to Times of India.
In response to a similar question, Goel responded by asking Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu whether she preferred an Olympic medal or the Khel Ratna. After Sindhu replied saying that she preferred the medal, Goel responded, “Now you got the answer from the athlete herself.”
Goel added, “Paralympic athletes brought a huge honour to the country. We are proud of them and they will be rewarded in the same manner like Sindhu and Sakshi [Malik].”
Earlier in the month, the minister had refused to comment on the matter saying that there were no policies in place for Paralympians receiving the Khel Ratna, India’s highest honour for sportspersons. India have won four medals at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, two gold, one silver and one bronze.
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