Fund crunch hits differently abled athletes in Odisha

Cuttack: Four differently abled athletes from Salepur in the district have high hopes that they will bring glory for the State by winning medals in the upcoming 18th Para-Athletic Championship.

The championship is scheduled to be held from March 24 to 29 in Panchkula of the northern Indian state of Haryana.

However, lack of sufficient funds has failed the four athletes- Bidyadhar Behera, Nagarjuna Setthy, Pramananda Mohanty and Krushna Chandra- from getting proper equipments and training.

“The four will represent the State in the Championship especially in shot put, discus, and javelin events. However, there are no traning facilities here for those throwing events. If government extends a helping hand, they will excel more and it will also help discovering new talents in the region,” said Odisha differently abled rights forum conveyor, Kiran Kumar Bhuiyan.

Without financial assistance, it would not be possible for any player to compete at the top (international) level, said Bhuiyan, adding that the four have the potential to even represent the country.

Meanwhile, the athletes’ coach Basanta Lenka said he is confident that they will give their 100 per cent in the national championship.

“I am confident of their outstanding performance. Had they been imparted training a year earlier, the situation would have been different by now,” Lenka added.