India’s Paralympians presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an autographed stole on Thursday during a breakfast hosted by him to felicitate the contingent at his residence here. The Indian para-athletes returned from Tokyo on the back of a sensational campaign that saw them win an unparalleled 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze.
This was the country's best-ever Paralympics campaign as it finished 24th in the overall tally. The PM was presented with a white stole signed by all the medal winners, which he was seen wearing around his neck.
Modi, who has been the first to congratulate the para-athletes on call after their medal-winning feats, was seen talking to shuttlers Suhas Yathiraj, the District Magistrate of Noida, who won a silver, gold medallist Krishna Nagar (badminton) and young Palak Kohli (badminton).
Indian shuttlers bagged four medals including two gold medals as badminton made its Paralympics debut. Shooters Avani Lekhara and Singhraj Adana, who both won two medals each in the Tokyo Games, also chatted with the PM.
Lekhara, who was paralysed waist down after being involved in an accident, had scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold before adding a bronze to her kitty. The 39-year-old Adana, who is afflicted with polio, clinched a silver and a bronze.
The PM also interacted with veteran javelin thrower Davendra Jhajharia and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu, who won gold medals in the 2016 Rio Games. The duo finished on the podium again, this time with silver medals.
Also present were table tennis player Bhavina Patel, who won a silver, and bronze medallist recurve archer Harvinder Singh.