Rio Paralympic gold medalist Mariyappan Thangavelu has decided to donate ₹30 lakh from his ₹2 crore prize money to the government school he attended as a kid. Thangavelu won the gold in T-42 high-jump with record-breaking 1.89m jump at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Two days ago Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had announced an award of ₹2 crore for Mariyappan Thangavelu for making the country proud with his achievement.
J Jayalalithaa issued a statement applauding Thangavelu’s efforts: “By leaping over a height of 1.89 metres, you have leapt into history and done both the Nation and the State of Tamil Nadu proud. Your achievement, overcoming several obstacles and hurdles, will inspire more and more children and youth to overcome adversities and to participate and strive for greater achievements.”
Thangavelu is the first Indian to win a medal in the high jump event at the Paralympics. The 21-year-old, who hails from Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, is the third Olympian from India to win gold in Paralympics after Murlikant Petkar in Swimming (1972) and Devendra Jhajharia in javelin throw (2004).
The Indian Olympic Association has also nominated Mariyappan Thangavelu to lead the country as flag bearer in the closing ceremony of the Rio Games on September 18. IOA tweeted, “Thangavelu Mariyappan will take lead as the flag bearer of the closing ceremony at the Paralympic Games 2016!”