Bangalore , Sept 7: In a noble gesture, Olympic bronze medal winner Saina Nehwal has gifted a sum of Rs 2 lakh to Paralympic silver medallist HN Girisha, The Times of India reported on Friday, Sept 7.
Saina is in complete awe of Girisha's medal winning effort in the high-jump event. The 24-year-old Girisha has an impairment in his left leg.
Highly impressed by Girisha's grit and valour, who has cleared 1.74 metres to win silver medal at the ongoing London Paralympics, the badminton champion has decided to give Rs 2 lakh from her own earnings.
"I am very happy for him. He did a great job for the country. I hope this small reward will help him in some way. As a fellow athlete, I know the hardship a sportsperson endures while competing on the biggest stage," she told the newspaper.
Saina said that it takes a lot of courage and dedication to win a medal at such big and important events like Olympic or Paralympic.
Saina is planning to hand over her token of appreciation to a fellow sportsperson once he comes back from London.
Girisha has endured a lot of hardship to achieve his goal. Apart from his physical disability, Girisha has also fought poverty to fulfill his dream of winning a medal at Paralympic.
Girisha is hopeful that his success at the international arena would change opinion regarding disabled population. He is also positive that the government would take adequate measure to provide all sorts of facilities to physically challenged population of the country, especially the para-athletes.
"Now that India has a medal at the Paralympics, the government and officials should support para-athletes. Able-bodied Olympians performed at the same venue," Girisha said after his inspiring show.
Disabled rights activists have hailed Girisha's success and they hope that the silver medal would change people's perception about physically challenged people.
According to activists working for the rights of physically challenged persons, discrimination against disabled people still continues.
"Be it in the field of jobs or taking part in a sporting event. Disabled people are given very few opportunities. Discrimination and biases against disabled people still continues," said Arman Ali, a disabled rights activist.
An estimate puts that the world has 650 million people with disabilities.
Around 80 per cent of people with disabilities live in developing countries, with the largest number living in Asia. India is home to 60 million disabled people.