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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has approved Rs16 million annual grant-in-aid to facilitate and involve persons with disabilities in sports activities and remove the sense of deprivation among them.

This was stated by Director General Sports Junaid Khan while talking to journalists here on Sunday. He said that a grant of Rs16 million was approved initially to hold ‘paralympic games’ for the persons with disabilities on annual basis besides giving grant-in-aid to the associations currently working for players with disabilities.

“We have divided the persons with disabilities in three different categories including blind players, players on wheelchairs and persons with standing disabilities,” said Mr Khan. He said that the associations of blind cricketers, wheelchairs players and persons with standing disabilities were working hard and their players also shined at national and international levels.

He said that Rs16 million would be utilised on holding special games and out of that amount Rs0.6 million would be given annually to the blind cricketers, wheelchairs players and players with standing disabilities.

“We are giving grant-in-aid to the associations affiliated with KP Olympic Association on annual basis and this time included grant-in-aid for those working for persons with disabilities,” said the sports director.

He said that the grant would be increased. “We have prepared a comprehensive plan in the light of the sports policy announced by the previous provincial government. We are sure that with the implementations of that sports policy we could be able to bring KP sportsmen and sportswomen at bar with players of other provinces,” he added.

The official said that recently special games were held for persons with disabilities in Abbottabad wherein players from across the country took part. “Our national blind cricket team has participated in every editions of the Blind Cricket World Cup as well as in the Blind T20 World Cup Tournaments. Our blind cricket team has won Blind Cricket World Cup titles in 2002 and 2006. Hence became the first visually impaired cricket team to win two consecutive Blind Cricket World Cup titles,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2018