Olympic 2016

When gold fetches far less than silver

P.V. Sindhu did her country proud at the Rio Olympics and the rewards flowed.

At last count, the “silver” girl’s net return from her badminton success had crossed Rs 13 crore.

Mariyappan Thangavelu, Devendra Jhajharia, Deepa Malik and Varun Singh Bhati too did their country proud in Rio de Janeiro.

At last count, the cash incentives for these medal-winning paralympians had totalled Rs 10.05 crore.

“It is not about the money, it’s about the achievement. This time the government spared no expense in training us at the best of venues,” said Deepa, who became India’s first sportswoman to win a medal at the Paralympics when the shot-putter recorded her personal best to bag a silver.

But the bias has always been there. While an Olympic medallist directly qualified for the Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honour, the government had no such policy for paralympians.

This time, however, Union sports minister Vijay Goel confirmed that all the Paralympic medallists would be treated on a par with the Olympic medallists.



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