Describing them as “true icons” of the country, the Indian government on Tuesday felicitated the medal winners at the just-concluded Asian Para Games 2018 with cash awards at par with able-bodied athletes, following India’s record medal haul in the continental event in Jakarta. The gold medal winners were given a cash award of Rs 30 lakh each, while silver and bronze medallists took home Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively. Also Read - UK PM Johnson Speaks with PM Modi on COVID-19 Vaccines, Climate Change And Trade

Present on the occasion were Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Sports Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and Sports India (erstwhile Sports Authority of India) Director General Neelam Kapur among others. Also Read - Army Refutes Reports of India Carrying Strikes In PoK Acrorss LoC, Calls Them 'Fake'

Indian para athletes recorded their biggest ever medal haul in the history of the Games by bagging 72 medals, including 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore congratulated the medal winners and thanked them for making the country proud.

“You guys are true icons of the country.This journey was not easy because you guys have overcome many obstacles in life. Many might have given up but you guys didn’t. It proves your self determination. Many people might have doubted your abilities but today you have proved them wrong,” he said.

Rathore stressed that the para athletes have full support from the government, which doesn’t differentiate between them and the able bodies sports persons.

“The Sports Ministry and the government is fully with you guys. We have set up a Centre of Excellence in a new stadium at Gandhinagar exclusively for you guys,” he informed.

The Sports Minister reminded the para athletes now to focus on 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

In the last edition of the Asian Para Games, India won 33 medals, including 3 gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze medals.