Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met the entire Indian contingent for the recently-concluded Rio Paralympics 2016. The Paralympians won a total of four medals - two gold, one silver and one bronze.
Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold in javelin throw and high jump events respectively, while Deepa Malik won silver in shot put event. Varun Singh Bhati won bronze in the men's high jump event.
The medals for India from the Rio Paralympics were double that of the Rio Olympics. While 119 Olympians managed to bring home just two medals, thanks to Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu, 19 Paralympians from the country got four medals.
"It was a delight to meet the Indian contingent that made our nation proud at the Paralympics. With the medal winners. Kudos to their efforts & accomplishments. [sic]," tweeted PM Modi on Thursday.
Apart from cash prizes, the Central government had earlier announced that all the four medal winners would be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for their accomplishments. Four Olympians from Rio including Dipa Karmakar, Sindhu, Jitu Rai and Sakshi were also bestowed with the honour following their stupendous display in Rio.
It remained a question whether the country's Paralympians would get the same treatment and rewards from the government as the Olympians did, and the answer was yes. "Equal importance has been given, be it Paralympics or Olympics," Olympics 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi told the Indian Express.
"I recently met Deepa Malik ji. She told me her story and I found it very inspiring. I got to learn a lot from her. She brought silver which is a very proud feeling and everyone respects her equally," she added.
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel has also promised the best of assistance for the Paralympians. "Will ensure that our Paralympians get the best facilities and keep up their performance in the upcoming championships & Paralympics. [sic]," Goel tweeted.
Tweets from PM Modi on Thursday