New Delhi : India’s Deaflympics 2021 contingent received a rousing send-off on Monday ahead of embarking for the Games, starting May 1. Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Nisith Pramanik and other dignitaries graced the occasion.
A total of 65 athletes will be participating at the Games in Caxias Du Sul, Brazil, making it the largest and the youngest contingent ever from India to participate in the Deaflympics. They will participate in a total of 11 sports disciplines: Athletics, Badminton, Judo, Golf, Karate, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Wrestling. The Games are scheduled from May 1 to May 15.
Showering the contingent with the best of wishes, Shri Anurag Thakur mentioned, “On behalf of everyone in the country, I not only give the best of wishes to all of you but also want to say that you have already shown your mettle by getting selected to represent India for the Games. Since this is the biggest contingent, I also believe we will also get the highest number of medals from Brazil. India will be the next big sporting powerhouse, be it in Olympics, Paralympics or Deaflympics. India will not stop. This century is ours and we will keep on unfurling India’s flag on all sporting arena.”
The Union Minister also spoke about the immense support provided to the athletes by the All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD) and the Sports Authority of India. “Both the AISCD and SAI have given a lot of support to the athletes. A 30-day National Coaching Camp was facilitated across the SAI centres for the Deaflympics-bound athletes. Besides that, SAI arranged everything for the athletes like giving them kits, ceremonial dress for the Deaflympics as well as arranging for their accommodation, lodging, boarding and transportation.”
Mentioning about the kind of inspiration the contingent can provide to Young India, Shri Nisith Pramanik said, “We have seen the country’s sports ecosystem ever evolving as per the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and also our Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur. Our Prime Minister’s clarion call of ‘Cheer For India’ has remained the game-changer. Be it the Olympics, Paralympics or Deaflympics, India has been set for utmost glory in sports.
Mentioning about the Brazil Deaflympics, he added, “We have the biggest contingent in Deaflympics this time. You have already become a great inspiration for Young India. The way you overcame all the hurdles is noteworthy. Also, from what I see, your passion and energy to win medals in radiating even before you have left for Brazil!”
India had sent a delegation of 46 participants in the last Deaflympics in Turkey in 2017, bagging a total of 5 medals, which included 1 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.