Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur on Sunday said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the Paralympians on their return to India.
Hailing the Prime Minister for devoting time with the athletes, Thakur said, "He (PM) had hosted the Olympians when they arrived in India and now he is going to host the Paralympians as well."
According to him, Modi always had a vision for sports including the specially-abled athletes.
Speaking about the Goutam Buddha Nagar district magistrate Suhas Y L winning a silver medal in the Paralympics in Tokyo, the Minister said, "What could be a better news when you land in Karnataka and our young athlete who has won another medal for India belongs to Karnataka. My heartfelt congratulations to both the medallists winning a gold and silver medal for us."
He also said that in 2016, the contingent for the Paralympics was 19 and now in 2021, the country won 19 medals in 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.
"It clearly shows that India has done well. Our medal tally has increased by about five times. It is a big achievement. A big congratulations to all the athletes," Thakur said.
The Minister also urged all the sports federations to formulate big plans for 2024 and 2028 Olympics so that India improves its position further.
"All the sports federations have to play an important role and we have to work together to formulate a big project so that in 2024 and 2028, India's position improves further," Thakur, who also holds the Information and Broadcasting portfolio, told reporters.
Thakur is here to take part in a host of events including interaction with the athletes.
According to him, the public perception towards sports has changed with the government giving impetus to athletics, which resulted in India's impressive performance in the Olympics and Paralympics.
"The biggest thing is the changing attitude towards sports. When the government is giving all sorts of facilities and when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself speaks to the sportspersons and encourages them, it has impact on every section of the society, whether be it individual, corporate, sports associations or any other organisation," Thakur said.
The Minister recalled that when he was in the flight, people came and complimented him saying that India has done well in the Olympics and Paralympics.
He said the response cricket used to get is now seen for Olympics games.
India won seven medals in the Tokyo Olympics including one gold and two silvers, while in the Paralympics this year, the country won 19 medals including five gold and eight silver.