No official from the Union Sports Ministry or the Narendra Modi government was present to welcome India’s Deaflympics contingent, which bagged five medals in Samsun, Turkey.
There is always a rush at the airport when Indian sportspersons and teams return from a special event, victorious. However, that was not the case when Indian contingent of Deaflympics returned home as there was no one waiting for them at the airport. They were so disappointed that they initially refused to leave the airport.
One understands where such a strong feeling is coming from as they put up a splendid performance, winning five medals, which is their best ever haul. Despite such an outcome, the Union Sports Ministry and the Narendra Modi government decided to ignore them, which seems to have hurt them badly.
Ketan Shah, Interpreter and Project Officer, All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD), spoke how the entire contingent was let down by the government, who have no excuses to explain their absence. They were informed that the athletes and the support staff would be coming on August 1, still, no one turned up.
“We also tried to get in touch with the Director General of the Sports Authority of India and Sports Minister Vijay Goel but they didn’t pay any heed. We had mailed them and informed them on July 25 itself that we will be coming on August 1 but we haven’t got any reply,” NDTV quoted Shah as saying.
“Since morning, we have been calling them and no one is ready to entertain us. No one is here to greet or meet the players and it’s a bit let down for the team,” he added.
Such kind of things like lesser-known sports and events have been ignored in India, but with Deaflympians criticising the government for their absence, one would not be surprised if a welcome event (if not planned) is planned for them in the coming days, just as a matter of compromise.