Did it occur to you why you couldn't catch the live broadcast of Rio 2016 Paralympics on any of the sports channels in India?
Now, that does sound a little absurd, right? Because, despite you having enthusiastically tweeted about it a day ago, you just couldn't experience the extraordinary thrill of watching some of the most phenomenal athletes putting forth their best at the Rio Paralympics field.
Well, to your surprise, India is amongst the 65 countries in the world including South Asia, South-East Asia, and central Africa – where the Paralympic Games will not be shown on Television. Now, you may assume that the sports broadcasters perhaps do not have the required rights, but what if you get to know that they didn't even bid for the rights?
The list of these ignorant sports channels includes Sony ESPN, Ten Sports, and also the public broadcaster; Doordarshan Sports. On contrary to their deliberate miss-out in not covering Rio 2016 Paralympics at all, they had a totally different story during Rio 2016 Olympics. For instance; Star Sports, dedicated 8 channels, (Yeah, you heard right) 8 channels to telecast Olympics, out of which 4 channels were in standard definition and the rest 4 in high definition. They enthusiastically broadcasted over 3,000 hours of action during the Games. No, we are not done yet; Star Sports also had 14 live feeds and 36 concurrent feeds on Hotstar, its digital platform. Nevertheless, it looks the Paralympics is just not worth their creative effort.
However, to stream support, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi did tweet; “The people of India will be enthusiastically cheering for our athletes representing India at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, starting 7th Sept.” But, the paradox remains because sports fans in India have no other choice than to disappointedly resort to watching the games online at www.paralympic.org and www.olympicchannel.com.
You would be absolutely amazed to know that this year to bring back glory to our country, sports contingent of 19 athletes are sent to compete at Rio 2016 Paralympics. And, because I strongly feel that these athletes deserve several rounds of applause, I would like to hereby list out their names and their respective events.
Pooja- Women Recurve Individual
Ankur Dhama- 1500meter- T11,
Mariyappan Thangavelu- High Jump- T42,
Varun Singh Bhai- High Jump- T42,
Sharad Kumar- High Jump- T42,
Ram Pal- High Jump- T47,
Devendra Jhajharia- Javelin Throw- F46,
Sundar Singh Gujar- Javelin Throw- F46,
Rinku- Javelin Throw- F46,
Ranbir Narender- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Sandeep- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Amit Kumar- Club Throw- F51,
Dharambir- Club Throw- F51,
Deepa Malik- Shot Put- F53
Farman Basha- Men's-49kg
Naresh Sharma- Men's R7-50m Rifle 3 Positions- SH1
Suyash Narayan- Men's 50m Butterfly- S7
I humbly request you, my readers, to respect and remember Rio 2016 Paralympics athletes not just for their medals, but more importantly for their undying spirit and extraordinary courage.
Note- Information related to athletes and their respective events is taken from Official Paralympics Website