Published On : Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015

No ramps, no toilets, no beds – shocking apathy shown to disabled athletes at paralympic meet

differently-abled-athlete_650x400_71427035519This morning we posted a story about how sorry the state of affairs are for the physically disabled in India.By a sad and ironic co incidence this was proved for all of us when we saw the shocking visuals of how ‘differently abled’ athletes, who bring Gold and Silver trophies for India at paralympic olympics were treated at a camp held  very close to Delhi.

As per the NDTV reports, there was only a make shift ramp made of plywood which was not at all safe for wheelchair bound participants so they could not get inside the buildings which had toilets. They had to relieve themselves in the bushes outside. Those that managed to crawl up the steps found that the toilets often had no running water and had not been cleaned.

There were no beds for them to sleep on and they had to make do with sleeping bags on the floor. The most shocking visuals were those of the athletes being transported around in open trucks, like one sees for transport of cattle.

No wonder the 15th National Paralympics Meet, held at Ghaziabad near Delhi, turned out to be a nightmare for the 600 differently-abled athletes who participated in the three-day meet that ended today.

According to NDTV reports -The meet was held at the Janhit Sports Academy in Matiala Village of Ghaziabad. Construction work has still not been completed in the buildings in which the athletes were housed. The wheelchair-bound athletes were the worst hit. Unable to use the steep and unstable ramps, they did not have access to even the most basic of facilities, which were inside the building.

Vijay Saradi, from Chennai, had come to take part in the meet along with nine other members of his group. They won four gold medals in the wheelchair and two silvers in javelin throw. But none of them could use the plywood planks which had been placed on the stairs as ramps.

The organizers tried to explain away the pathetic conditions by saying there was no budget for this meet, they were given just Rs. 2 lakhs and very little time to prepare. If the meet hadn’t been held they would have missed out on the chance to participate in the international tournaments. They also complained that there are no sponsors who give funds for such meets.

Last time this meet was held in Banglore and the rooms and stadium were much better – there is no explanation for why they did not hold it there this time too.