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Thu Apr 24 08:51:23 SAST 2014

Indian medallist helps parents pay off loans

Sapa-AFP | 05 September, 2012 12:080 Comments
2012 London Paralympics - Day 6 - Athletics
Silver medallist Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda of India poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's high jump - F42 on day 6 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 4, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Julian Finney / Getty Images

The parents of an Indian athlete who won silver at the Paralympics in London will pay off outstanding loans from the money their son has earned with his effort, reports said on Wednesday.

Nagarajegowda Hosanagara Girisha, 24, who was born with a defective left foot, has been promised three million rupees ($53,700) dollars by the federal sports ministry for coming second in the men’s F42 high jump.

The Paralympic Committee of India also announced a cash award of one million rupees ($18,000).

The athlete’s father Nageraje Gowda, a labourer in the southern state of Karnataka, told local media his son’s achievement meant the 350,000-rupee loan he took for his daughter’s marriage and to build a house would be repaid.

“I can now forget the struggles we went through,” Gowda told the Times of India.

“When he was a kid, the doctor told me he needed a surgery to correct his disability but I got scared and refused.

“It was also because we could not afford the costs of the operation... Look at him, he has made us proud with his achievement.

“We struggled to make ends meet because of the bank loan we had to repay. But I can forget all that.” 

Girisha is the third Indian to win a silver medal at the Paralympics in addition to javelin thrower Bhimrao Kesarkar and shot-putter Joginder Singh Bedi in 1984.

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