The Indian blind cricket team, which won the T20 World Cup recently, was felicitated by the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka, here on Monday.
At a function presided over by Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports, Prakasha Jayaramaiah and R. Sunil, the two cricketers from the State who played a winning hand, were honoured with cash awards of Rs. 7 lakh each. The duo was promised jobs in the State government.
The minister also replied in the affirmative when asked if the two will be added to the list of around 1000 sportspersons the government will be finalising for sponsorship from corporate houses as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
“I consider it our duty to recognise and encourage differently-abled sportspersons from the state,” said Madhwaraj. “These cricketers are inspirations to all physically-challenged sportspersons across the country. It is our endeavour to promote and encourage such athletes and paralympians.”
Cricket Association for the Blind in India president G.K. Mahantesh requested the minister to allot around 15 acres of land to build practice facilities and a “world-class stadium for the visually-impaired and differently-abled” and sanction Rs. 1 crore to help cover the costs of the recently-concluded World Cup.
The Association, which has spent nearly Rs. 8 crore for the conduct of the tournament has thus far been able to recover around 60%, Mahantesh pointed out.