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Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Inaugurates 5th ONGC Para Games, Celebrates Para-Athlete Resilience

New Delhi: Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, inaugurated the 5th ONGC Para Games at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi, praising the para-athletes for their unwavering determination and resilience. The event, taking place from 8th to 10th March 2024, saw the participation of 371 athletes, with 249 ONGCians competing in various sporting disciplines.

Minister Puri commended India’s stellar performance in Paralympic events worldwide, citing the nation’s success at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, where it secured a total of 19 medals, including 5 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze. He also highlighted India’s remarkable achievements at the Asian Para Games 2023 in Hangzhou, securing 111 medals, including 29 gold, 31 silver, and 51 bronze.

Acknowledging the active engagement of Oil and Gas PSUs in uplifting society, particularly focusing on Persons with Disabilities (PwD) through CSR initiatives, Minister Puri urged companies to intensify efforts in promoting sports. He emphasized the need to extend these initiatives to rural areas, scouting talent to integrate into mainstream sports.

Secretary of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Pankaj Jain, lauded the athletes at the ONGC Para Games, emphasizing the significance of the power of the mind over the power of the human body.

The 5th ONGC Para Games featured athletes from various oil and gas public enterprises, including ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, EIL, OIL, and GAIL, participating in disciplines such as athletics, badminton, table tennis, and wheelchair racing. Distinguished athletes like Manasi Joshi, para-badminton star and Arjuna Awardee, Manoj Sarkar, Para Olympian Bronze medallist and Arjuna Awardee, and ONGCian Captain SK Sangwan were among the participants.

Captain Sangwan, an ONGCian honored with the National Award by the President of India, led the first platoon deployed during the Kargil War in the Batalik sector. Notably, in 2017, he made history as the first war veteran with an artificial limb to lead the ONGC Team for a successful expedition to Mount Everest.

The ONGC Para Games, initiated in 2017, stands as a distinctive corporate commitment by ONGC to mainstream and foster inclusivity for its specially-abled employees. Over the years, the Games have seen remarkable growth in both participation and diversity, with several para-athletes from the event making significant contributions to India’s success in the Paralympics.

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