Mumbai, August 24, 2016
As a catalyst to the cause of empowering India’s sports talent, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has partnered with the GoSports Foundation to identify and support Indian paraathletes across multiple Paralympic disciplines. The support covers high performance training, travel and competition needs, nutritional counselling, fitness and injury management, rehabilitation, physiotherapy and strength training. The eleven Para Champions who will aspire to make India proud at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are:
1) Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw) - Paralympic Games Gold medalist, World Record Holder & Padmashree Awardee 2) Narender Ranbir (Javelin Throw) - Paralympian and Asian Para Games medalist 3) Amit Saroha (Club Throw) - Paralympian and Asian Para Games medalist 4) Suyash Jadhav (Swimming) - Only Indian Para swimmer to qualify for Rio 2016 5) Ankur Dhama (1500m) - Asian Para Games medalist 6) Varun Bhati (High Jump) - World No. 2 7) Rampal Chahar (High Jump) - World No. 6 8) Deepa Malik (Shot Put) - Asian Para Games medalist and Arjuna Awardee 9) Dharambir (Club Throw) – Qualified Paralympian at 2016 Athletics Grand Prix, Dubai 10) Pooja (Archery)- 2016 Para National Archery Championship medalist and World No. 5 at 2016 World Ranking Archery Tournament 11) Rinku (Javelin Throw) – Qualified Paralympian at 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix, Switzerland
Comments: NP Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN): “Sport is a terrific medium of empowerment and as responsible sports broadcasters; our long term vision is to improve the sports narrative in India. The para athlete’s achievements are incredible and humbling and we are happy to facilitate their ability to compete on the international stage. Sony Pictures Networks is proud to take up the social responsibility of empowering India’s talented sportspersons through such associations.”
Smriti K. Singh, CHRO, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN): “There is a dire need for support of differently-abled sports in India. It is largely through their own resilience that these athletes are creating a better quality of life for themselves and their families. While the will to excel is true of any sportsperson, the differently-abled are also fighting the social stigma associated with their disability. However, through sport, they have established that they are winners not just in their sport but also in life. We want to give life to their stories, as recognition for their efforts, inspiration to others and hopefully influence policy makers.”
Deepthi Bopiah, Executive Director, GoSports:
“Sony Pictures Networks is visionary in understanding the importance of developing sporting talent in India and within that, developing differently abled sports because of the larger challenges that these athletes face. It is a little known fact that India’s first Olympic gold medal in an individual sport, was actually won by one of our para athletes Devendra Jhajharia, an amputee, for Javelin throw and his world record is unbeaten even today. SPN’s support enables us to offer such athletes better sports facilities”.
SPN’S CSR Theme: Ek India Happywala is the CSR theme under the aegis of which SPN runs its CSR programme. Ek India Happywala focusses on creating a positive impact in our ecosystem and it built around the 3 pillars; empowerment, education and environment.
Factual Data about Disability in India:
• As per the Govt. census report of 2011, over 2.68 CR individuals in India suffer from disability. This accounts for 2.21% of the country’s population.
• These individuals face many challenges ranging from:
• Limited disabled friendly infrastructure and facilities
• In-equal treatment
• Social stigmas
• Reduced participation in society
• Low self-confidence / Inferiority complex & therefore an overall unsatisfactory quality of life
About Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN):
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), (formerly Multi Screen Media Private Ltd.), is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation which owns and operates the Sony Entertainment network of television channels.
As a leading television network in India, SPN comprises of Sony Entertainment Television (SET), one of India's leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India's premium Hindi movies and special events channel; MAX 2, a second Hindi movie channel showcasing great Indian Cinema; SAB, a family comedy entertainment channel; PIX, the English movie channel; AXN, the leader amongst English Entertainment Channels; AATH, the Bangla movie channel, MIX a refreshing Hindi music channel; SIX and SONY ESPN – the cluster of sports entertainment channels SonyLIV - the Digital Entertainment Channel and SPN Productions.
Sony Pictures Networks India is in its 21st year in India.
About GoSports Foundation
The GoSports Foundation is a not-for-profit venture primarily focused on the development of India’s best and most promising junior Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Through its scholarship programmes, GoSports Foundation has supported more than 200 high-performing junior athletes and conducted Coach and Athlete Education programmes and Conclaves aimed at improving the sporting ecosystem in India.
Abhinav Bindra, Rahul Dravid, and Pullela Gopichand are on the advisory board of GoSports Foundation