Prasanta Karmakar's dreams of adding an Olympic medal to the ones he won in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, stays in suspense, as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has not revoked the suspension of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
It may be recalled that following complaints, the Sports Ministry had suspended PCI in March last and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had followed suit in June. It meant that no Indian para athlete would be able to compete in any international competition.
The PCI has made an appeal to the government for reviving the recognition, stating that it had not only answered the ‘show cause notice' but had also conducted the elections last July as per the government guidelines.
Karmakar had also recently requested Sports Minister Ajay Maken to look into the matter and resolve the issue.
The international body had made it clear that the suspension would not be revoked unless the national paralympic committee resolved the matter with the Union Sports Ministry.
The government had told the international body that it would help form an ad hoc committee to run the para sport in the country but that has not materialised.
Time running out
The general secretary of the PCI, Rathan Singh, has pointed out in his letter to the Sports Minister, that in view of the IWAS World Games in Sharjah in December, and the London Paralympic Games next year, the para athletes need to enter international competition to achieve qualification standards, and that time was running out.
The PCI had gained the government's recognition only in October 2005. The PCI has pointed out in its communication that prior to the government recognition, the Paralympic Committee had successfully conducted national championships, sent teams to nearly 25 international tournaments, five World championships, one Fespic Games and three Paralympic Games, without any financial assistance either from the Ministry or other sponsors.
It was mentioned that the government owed the PCI nearly Rs. 45 lakh in terms of balance for sanctioned grants.
The PCI has pleaded that no further time be wasted so that athletes were not affected and has promised to ensure proper conduct so as to avoid any future complaints against it.