"Nobody knows about the World Dwarf Games in India," says Mark Dharmai
Interview with Dwarf sportsperson Mark Dharmai.
A few weeks back, KY Venkatesh, multiple time dwarf champion had spoken to Sportskeeda on the lack of support and urged the public to give the Dwarf sports more importance.
Now, a few weeks later, another of his contemporary, Mark Dharmai has also come out and spoken about requiring more support from the government towards Dwarf sports and added that any medal won in such events is also a big achievement.
“Frankly speaking, nobody knows about the World Dwarf Games in India. They have not spread the message to everyone. Mr. Venkatesh has helped to do that, but there are people like us who don't come out. Also, wherever you travel , you need some pocket money and I believe that some of the dwarfs don't come out.
“I am not sure if the government has recognized the World Dwarf Games, like some of the other international events. At the World Dwarf Games, there isn’t one sport that you compete in. There are multiple sports and winning a medal is certainly a big achievement. It's very hard to get a gold medal. I would like to say that let the government recognize it,” Dharmai told Sportskeeda in a telephonic interview.
Dharmai’s beginnings in Dwarf Sports weren’t as happy as he would have liked. But he admits that his parents and other family members played a major role and he eventually began to play sports after watching members in his family play.
“I was a very slow learner. I didn't know a lot of things at the start. But slowly and steadily, I began to realize that my height wouldn’t grow. My parents were very supportive. My family members used to play sport and later I too started to play sport. I played hockey and football for my school and colleges.
“One fine day, I got a call from Venkatesh sir and then he told me about sports. He said there was different kind of sports like badminton, table tennis etc so from then onwards I started to play badminton and I started to make my career in badminton.
“There were many difficulties. The net was much higher and we had to play the full court.So there were doubts over whether I should play or not, but I decided to not give up and continue to put in the hard yards and eventually started to improve. Then I started to play in the state, national level and then won a medal at the World Championships,” he said.
Dharmai, who idolizes badminton star Saina Nehwal, added that the Paralympic Council of India(PCI) were also supportive to the Dwarf Sports’ cause.
“They were supportive. I took time for me to understand which association did what, but they were supportive,” he said.
When asked whether he or the fraternity had approached the government for help,
On whether they had approached the government for help, he said they were not getting the required help from the officials.
“I don’t know, to be honest, because next year is the World Dwarf Games and I will try to represent there. I don't think they are helping. I think Mr.Venkatesh had also told in the news about the lack of support,” he concluded.