Virender Singh’s Plea For The Deaf Athletes

Story Highlights
  • Wrestler Virender Singh has called on Haryana CM to recognise deaf sportspersons as para-athletes.
  • Singh was born in Sasroli near Jhajjar in Haryana who cannot speak or hear.
  • Virender Singh is among the Padma Shri awardees this year.

New Delhi: Wrestler Virender Singh Yadav, one of this year’s Padma Shri awardees, has urged Haryana Chief Minister Manohar LalKhattar to acknowledge deaf sportsmen in the state as para-athletes. Singh, who was born in Sasroli, Haryana, near Jhajjar, cannot speak or hear. He uploaded a photo of himself with his Padma Shri, Arjuna Award, and other foreign medals on the footpath outside the Haryana Bhawan on Wednesday.”Honourable Chief Minister ML Khattar, I am sitting on the footpath of your residence Delhi Haryana Bhawan and I will not move from here till you don’t give equal rights to deaf players like the para-athletes. When the Centre gives us equal rights, then why not you?” Singh tweeted.

Athletes who are simply deaf have no Paralympic divisions, thus the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) organizes sports events specifically for them. The International Paralympic Committee recognises the Deaflympics, but deaf athletes do not compete in the more well-known Paralympic Games. President Ram NathKovind presented Singh with the Padma Shri at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Tuesday, a photo of which was posted by Khattar, thanking the famed grappler who inspired the popular documentary ‘GoongaPehelwan’ on his life.

Singh, who competed in the 74 kg weight division at the Deaflympics and won 3 gold and a bronze medal, reiterated that he wants the same prize money and honours as para-athletes, adding that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about it. “Chief Minister, if you consider me a para-athlete, why don’t you offer me the rights that come with the para title?”I’ve been running from pillar to post for the past four years. Even today, I am a junior coach who has never earned a monetary prize. I discussed this with Prime Minister Modi yesterday, and now the decision is in your hands,” he said.

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