Handicapped athletes due to represent the country sleeping on the street in New Delhi
Apathy from authorities and the Sports Ministry has forced athletes due to participate in the Asia-Pacific deaf games to sleep on the pavement.
A group of 28 speech and hearing impaired athletes from India were due to participate in the Asia-Pacific Deaf Games, which commence tomorrow. The 8th edition is scheduled from the 3rd to the 11th of October in Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei, with athletes from all over the continent set to participate. The country is hosting the game for the second time, having last played host in 2000.
Among the sports played at the Games are basketball, baseball, athletics, badminton, football, futsal, bowling, cycling, judo, karate, orienteering, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.
The athletes, who had no place to stay, were allegedly refused accommodation at the New Delhi campus of the Sports Authority of India, reports Times Now. They say they have made several attempts to contact authorities and officials associated with the organisation, which was set up with the express responsibility of promoting sport across the nation.
Despite the fact that they are representing the nation on an international platform as they strive to bring laurels to the country, the athletes were told they would have to bear the cost of their own visa and travel paperwork.
Using their own luggage as pillows as they sleep rough on the pavement, the athletes are suffering as a result of the apathy and inaction of any sports officials. With certificates of merit from the All India Deaf Games to prove their authenticity, they still await a response from the Sports Authority. Already dealing with being differently-abled in a country where facilities are not conducive to the physically impaired, these athletes, who have worked hard to reach the international level have been dealt another rough hand.
28 hearing & speech impaired athletes who were to participate in the Asia Pacific Deaf Games mistreated in New Delhi pic.twitter.com/Oc8u8puCI1— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 2, 2015