Justice C.V. Karthikeyan directed the Member Secretary to be present in the court on February 11. The direction was issued on a writ petition filed by the mother of a 26-year-old autistic athlete who had won the gold in 100-metre sprint and the bronze in long jump in the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Los Angeles in 2015.


CHENNAI
HC takes note of ‘discrimination’ in cash awards to paralympians

Mohamed Imranullah S.CHENNAI 28 JANUARY 2020 01:24 ISTUPDATED: 28 JANUARY 2020 01:25 IST


 
 
 
 
SDAT Member Secretary summoned to explain why some given ₹2 crore, others only ₹50,000
The Madras High Court has summoned Member Secretary, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), to explain why only select individuals are awarded the cash prize ranging between ₹10 lakh and ₹2 crore each for their achievements in Silent Olympics, Special Olympics and Paralympics, while others are denied such largesse.
Justice C.V. Karthikeyan directed the Member Secretary to be present in the court on February 11. The direction was issued on a writ petition filed by the mother of a 26-year-old autistic athlete who had won the gold in 100-metre sprint and the bronze in long jump in the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Los Angeles in 2015.
The petitioner M. Santhanalakshmi, a daily wager from Otteri in Chennai, claimed that the State government paid her son M. Platni Maran only ₹50,000 for having won the gold medal and ₹ 20,000 for the bronze, while it paid several lakhs and even a few crores of rupees to select athletes for similar achievements.
Advertising

Advertising
Her counsel S.S. Rajesh brought it to the notice of the court that the petitioner’s family was living in penury and struggling a lot to take care of the autistic athlete. The youngster dropped out of school in Class VI. However, since he was good in track and field events, the parents encouraged him to participate in those events.
After his achievements at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, the Centre honoured him with a cash award of ₹6 lakh, but the State government did not pay anything more than ₹70,000, which was not even sufficient to cover his travel expenses for the Special Olympics held in the US between July 25 and August 2, 2015.
Several representations
The petitioner and her husband made several representations since 2015 seeking better monetary rewards as well as a government job for their son but to no avail.
Meanwhile, the government in 2016 paid ₹2 crore to T. Mariyappan, who had won the gold in high jump by leaping a height of 1.89 metres at the Paralympics held in Rio De Janeiro.
Again in 2017, it paid ₹10 lakh to one Balu Pandian who won the silver in floor hockey in Special Olympics World Winter Games held in South Korea in 2013. Wondering why select athletes alone were awarded with cash prizes, Mr. Rajesh said it was highly discriminatory on the part of the government to deny such a benefit to an autistic athlete.
In a counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Youth Welfare and Sports Development Secretary, the department’s Deputy Secretary M.S. Chitra stated that the two athletes referred to by the writ petitioner were awarded cash incentives as special cases and such payments could not be cited by others as a precedent to claim similar incentives.
A Government Order issued in December 2005 provides for a cash reward of ₹50,000 for the gold medal, ₹30,000 for silver, ₹20,000 for bronze and ₹1,000 for participation in Silent Olympics, Special Olympics and Paralympics. Accordingly, the petitioner’s son was paid ₹70,000 for his gold and bronze medals in the Special Olympics.
“Whatever grant of award, as permitted in the rules in force, has been awarded to the petitioner’s son and any special grant of cash award or employment opportunity or any other recognition cannot be claimed as a matter of right,” the Deputy Secretary added.
Not satisfied with such an explanation, the judge summoned the SDAT Member Secretary.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now ButtonCALL ME