India’s 2016 high jump bronze medal-winning Paralympian, Varun Singh Bhati (Varun Bhati), has spoken up against the pay disparity between para-athletes and able-bodied athletes.
Bhati’s home state, Uttar Pradesh, recently announced a reward of INR. 10 lakh for all the ten athletes from the state who competed at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. This was a pale show of the INR. 25 lakh, which the Olympians from the state received.
Varun Singh Bhati took to his personal Twitter handle to express his displeasure on the disparity.
“Once again discrimination against Paralympians in Uttar Pradesh. While the Olympic participants got INR. 24 lakh, the participants of Paralympics are given only INR. 10 lakh. Please help spread this message to a wider audience,” he tweeted.
Having won the bronze medal in the 2016 Paralympics, Varun Bhati finished sixth in Tokyo after failing to go past the 1.80m mark.
“Yet to receive 1 crore from 2016”
While this might just be an issue of discrimination, there is something bigger that forced Bhati to speak up today. The 26-year-old is yet to receive the prize money he was promised after winning the bronze medal at Rio Paralympics five years back.
Bhati made another tweet and accused UP government of not fulfilling the promise made five years ago after he won bronze medal at Rio Olympics in 2016. Bhati tweeted, “I’m yet to receive the cash prize promised to me for the bronze medal I won in 2016 Rio Olympics and again this discrimination.”