Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri Inaugurates 5th ONGC Para Games Today

New Delhi, 09 March 2024: Complimenting the para-athletes for their strong determination and will power, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs said,  “The ONGC Para Games is a testament to the spirit of the participating athletes.

Despite facing challenges, you have shown grit and determination and have not only overcome the obstacles, but have contributed to defining a more humane society”. The Minister inaugurated today the 5th ONGC Para Games being held in Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi from 8-10 March 2024. Shri Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) and senior officials from Oil & Gas PSUs attended the event.

Shri Puri lauded India’s performance at Paralympic events across the world. He said that the country has already made a mark in Tokyo Paralympics 2020 with a total of 19 Medals (5 Gold, 8 Silver & 6 Bronze medals).” In recently held Asian Para Games 2023 at Hangzhou, India won 111 Medals (29 Gold, 31 Silver & 51 Bronze medals)”, he said.

The Minister appreciated the Oil and Gas PSUs under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for actively engaging in taking up the cause of upliftment of society, especially focussed on Persons with Disabilities, through various CSR schemes by way of providing healthcare, education, financial assistance, skill development courses, support to senior citizens etc.

He urged all the companies to further step up their efforts in taking up such initiatives of promoting sports. “Efforts should also be made to promote sports in rural areas and scout talent with a thought to bring them in main stream”, he noted.

Speaking at the event, Shri Pankaj Jain, Secretary, MoPNG, expressed admiration for the participating athletes at the ONGC Para Games, emphasizing, ”The power of the mind over the power of the human body is the essence of this Games and that is all that you signify.”

The 5th ONGC Para Games, featuring a total of 371 athletes, will witness active participating from 249 ONGCians across a range of sporting disciplines. Athletes from various oil and gas public enterprises, including ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, EIL, OIL, and GAIL, will compete across disciplines such as athletics, badminton, table tennis, and wheelchair racing.

Distinguished athletes including Manasi Joshi, Arjuna Awardee and para-badminton star, Manoj Sarkar, Arjuna Awardee and Para Olympian Bronze medallist, and ONGCian Captain SK Sangwan are set to participate in the event. Captain Sangwan, honored with the National Award by the President of India, notably led the first platoon deployed during the Kargil War in the Batalik sector. In 2017, he made history as the first war veteran with an artificial limb to lead the ONGC Team for an expedition to Mount Everest. This monumental achievement marked the first independent corporate team to select, train, and successfully summit Everest within a remarkably short period of 15 months.

The ONGC Para Games, conceptualized to mainstream and foster inclusivity for its specially- abled employees in 2017 stands out as a unique corporate commitment underscoring ONGC’s visionary approach to energizing the human spirit through sportsmanship. Over the years, the Games have witnessed remarkable growth in both participation and diversity, with numerous para-athletes from the event going on to bring pride to India in the Paralympics.

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