[Impact] India’s Chef de Mission of Paralympics suspended

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While exploring the idea of structural indifference to those the state considers ‘victims’, Tehelka wrote the stories of five of India’s medal hopes for the Paralympics; on the nature of their disability, their chosen sport and the rigorous training schedules they were undertaking in the final three months prior to the Paralympics.

Tehelka’s senior correspondent Nishita Jha followed the athletes and the officials of the Paralympics Committee of India, to London, where as a result of the PCI’s bureaucratic indifference and corruption — the athletes found themselves without their coaches or equipment, unable to prepare for the biggest moment of their lives.

Through an exclusive interview with the chairperson of the PCI, exposing his deeply patronising attitude towards the para-athletes, and by writing about the systemic corruption that had thwarted India’s shot at Paralympic gold, Tehelka’s sustained coverage on the issue soon saw other media organisations pick up the story — ultimately causing Sports Minister Ajay Maken to issue a show-cause notice to the PCI. As of this February 2013, the Chef de Mission of the Paralympics has now been suspended as a result of Tehelka’s interview, and an enquiry into the activities of the PCI is currently pending with the Sports Ministry.

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