New Delhi: Deepa Malik has filed nomination for the president of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
“It’s high time that athlete starts getting heard. Being an athlete I know what they go through and what they need. Yes, I have filed my nomination for the presidentship. I will bring an athlete perspective because till now I have been playing and representing my country. I have understood the emotional, physical, financial ups and downs an athlete goes through, especially when federation becomes unstable and then gets suspended by the government,” Malik told ANI.
The sports ministry had suspended PCI earlier this year for violating sports code.
PCI is due to hold fresh elections for the new tenure and the process for filing the nominations has begun.
Olympic medalist Deepa Malik who recently joined BJP has sent her nomination for the post while current interim president Gurcharan Singh has filed his nomination for the post of Secretary-General for the next tenure.
“Let me be very honest I am an educated person and I know what exactly an athlete needs so once the dust settles down and tenure begins and if I am entrusted with this duty I am going to give it my best. I will give an honest perspective for the athletes and I will ensure everything goes as per plan. I have pure intention to put my name, I do not know what the result would be but it’s just an effort to make a statement that athlete needs to be heard now,” Malik said.
For the post of treasurer, Mahadeva has filled his nomination while for the post of Vice President, Kavinder Chaudhary and Shashi Ranjan Jha have filled the nominations.
Currently, the announcement for the results of PCI is on hold as a petition has been filed by Sangwan in court.
The court has ordered a stay as Sangwan alleged that PCI has not followed the proper norms of calling free and fair elections. The date for the next hearing is on October 14.
When the Rio Paralympian silver medallist, Deepa Malik was asked about the de-functioning of the federation she said: “Yes definitely that is the exact reason why I have put my name out of the blue, even when I was preparing for Rio Paralympics, despite my preparation and knowing that I am gonna come back with a medal I was not sure that whether I will be playing under India’s flag or IPC flag”.
“If the federation is suspended and the athletes are not even playing for India I think that becomes very crucial situation, it definitely hampers the morale of the athlete, the uncertainty that when will my entry go, will the government approve, will I get enough funding for myself to go and represent the country is all bad for the situation in the country. I think it is time to become a mainstream competitive sport and India is doing well, we have a lot of potential,” she added.
Malik was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on August 29 and as a result, she became the first Indian woman para-athlete to be conferred with the accolade.