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Former Paralympian Deepa Malik urges PM Modi, Thakur to reconsider PCI suspension

New Delhi: The president of the suspended Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), Deepa Malik, made a "sincere appeal" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the Sports Ministry of India to reconsider the suspension of the authority, as the World Shooting Para World Cup set to be hosted in the national capital from March 7 to 15.
On Saturday, the Sports Ministry of India suspended the PCI for failing to conduct elections on time and non-compliance with guidelines.
Deepa appealed to PM Modi and the Sports Ministry to revisit their decision as the process of election has already begun and the date has been announced as March 28, 2024.
"The recent suspension of the Paralympic Committee of India has come as very heartbreaking news, to me as the president of the PCI and also an athlete who has been an ex-para Olympian because this is the Paralympics year. We are all gearing up for the 2024 Paralympics it is going to really put a setback and it is going to really demotivate the para-athletes especially para shooters because we are really looking at hosting the World Cup of para shooting where 50-plus countries are coming and participating. The entry process has begun we have set out the confirmation of us being the host country. The whole idea and the endeavour of bringing an international event to the country is because India is a rising sporting nation and it has now one of the best inclusive policies and declaring para sports as mainstream. I make a sincere appeal to the honourable Prime Minister, to honourable Sports Minister and the Ministry of Sports to reconsider and revisit their decision on suspension if it is based on a delay of elections then we have already begun our process of election," Deepa said in a video shared by the PCI.
The Sports Ministry stated that the PCI's decision to hold the election on March 28 "is willful, intentional, and without any valid reason."
Deepa revealed the reason for delaying the elections, stating that with the Para Shooting World Cup almost a month away, the change in committee could harm the hosting of the event. So the elections were postponed in the "national interest".
"The election date is announced, the returning officer has been appointed and the entire communication has been circulated to the ministry as well as the International Paralympic Committee of India. The only extraordinary circumstance is that we are the hosting country for the World Para Shooting Cup which is happening as early as March within a month's time. So we have just postponed it so that in the national interest we do not make any... kind of change in the committee which can harm the hosting of the World Para Shooting because all planning is going on, all entry has been done. So I feel our prestige is at stake and this is not the opportune time to suspend when we are the host country to a World Cup, a world-level event which is going to happen in India," Deepa added.

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