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Paralympic athlete left stranded at Delhi airport

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: A wheelchair user Para athlete Manjula M. was left stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. With no assistance and money or ticket, Manjula had a nightmarish experience on her way back to Bangalore. She was returning home after participating in the recently concluded Para Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Manjula, who earned a berth for the 2012 Paralympics in London after her eight place finish in discus throw, was abandoned at the Delhi airport after landing. There were six officials who had come as escorts and were travelling with the athlete, including P.C.I. Treasurer Shankar Iyer, but none of them stayed back to help Manjula. These officials who were supposed to take care of the athletes did not bother to book Manjula’s ticket from New Delhi to Bangalore.

P.C.I. officials, however, brushed off the controversy and termed it as “a small incident”. The disabled athlete was left unattended for hours before she contacted her personal coach in Delhi who helped her book a ticket back home. As per rules, flight bookings for all athletes should be made from India before the contingent leaves for the Games.

This shows a clear sense of ignorance on behalf of P.C.I. Manjula had reminded officials before departing from Guangzhou that her Delhi - Bangalore ticket had not been booked, but they ignored her request and did not act on it.