Army makes a deal to include personnel in Paralympic sport

In a move to boost Paralympic sport in India, the Indian Army has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) to bring specially abled soldiers into the sport.

As per the MoU, Paralympic sports will be a way to rehabilitate soldiers who are injured or disabled in the line of duty. Moreover, it will inspire specially-abled soldiers to bring glory in sports while helping in the growth of Paralympic sport, infrastructure development and training facilities.

India had won its best haul of 19 medals at the Tokyo Paralympics last year.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Lt. Gen Ravin Khosla, Deputy Chief of Army Staff, and PCI president Deepa Malik.

“This is a great initiative. It is a natural progression for armed forces personnel who by nature are disciplined. For those who, while performing different duties on the line of fire, have disability, there is no better way to rehabilitate them but to bring them into the fold of sport, make them Paralympians. The basic qualities are already there—hard work, dedication, focused approach and once they acquire skills as far as sport is concerned, we will have winners all the way,” Lt. Gen. Khosla said.

“This will begin a new era in Indian Paralympic movement. There is lot of similarity in the journeys of a soldier and a sportsperson. Both sacrifices so much in their personal life to make the country proud. When a soldier becomes an athlete, it is the best combination the world of sport can see. This partnership will help in growth of para sports and win more international medals,” said Malik, who hails from an Army background.

“As part of the project, Army Marksmanship Unit shooting range in Mhow and Army Rowing Node are two centres that will be upgraded to make it disabled friendly,” said PCI secretary general Gursharan Singh at the signing of MoU.

Furthermore, Malik is the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic medal. She will provide technical support for army sportspersons to develop skills and get classified at the international level, said the PCI secretary.

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