Kolkata: India’s successful 2016 Rio Paralympics swimming squad head coach Prasanta Karmakar today said the attitude of the people towards the para-athletes yet not changed despite their good show in the last year’s Rio Paralympics.
The nation displayed their best ever show in the history of the Paralympic games, where they won four medals with two gold, one silver and one bronze.
Star Javlin thrower Devendra Jhajharia shattered the world record to win the gold medal for India on the other hand high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu became the first gold medallist for the country.
In women’s division Deepa Malik became the first ever Indian women to win a medal for the country in the Paralympics. She won a silver in the shot put F-53 event. Another Indian para athlete Varun Singh Bhati also won bronze.
Despite these brilliant efforts, Karmakar complained that in the country they are still treated wrongfully.
“The attitude towards paralympics hasn’t changed. In the 2010 Delhi Commomnwealth Games, the world had shown us they are athletes and not parathletes.
“There was no discrimination. But here you are a para-athlete. You have an extra tail,” Karmakar, 36, told reporters on the sidelines of Civilian Welfare Foundation’s Walk for Paralympics which is organised every year on August 28.
He is the Asian record holder in Butterfly, Breaststroke and Backstroke (all 50m).
“West Bengal lacks policy too,” Karmakar who moved to Haryana in 2006 for a better future said.
“That’s why I had to move out and train in Haryana in 2006. There has to be motivation after a certain age,” he added.