India In Paralympics - A Treasure Or Wreckage?

By Criss Cross Tamizh,

India’s First Paralympics :

In 1968(Tel Aviv, Israel) India made their first debut in the Paralympics. Since 1968, India has been participating only in summer Paralympics, it never participated in winter Paralympics. Unfortunately, India didn’t win a medal in 1968. In 1972, India competed for the second time in the Paralympics and won a gold. India was absent for Paralympics in 1976 and 1980. India made their re-entry in the Paralympics in 1984 and won 4 medals. India was competing in all Paralympics since 1984. India ranked 55th in the medal-winning stream.

India in Paralympics 1968 games

Indian Contingent in 1968 Paralympics games that is played in TelAviv city, Israel.

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1972(Heidelberg, Germany):

Murlikant Petkar won a gold in 50m swimming freestyle at 37.33s.From India 10 athletes have participated in the Paralympics in 1972.

Murlikant Petkar
Murlikant Petkar, in 1970 Paralympic games.

1984(Stoke Mandeville, England/ New York, US ):

5 athletes have participated in this Paralympics and won 4 medals for India. Joginder Singh Bedi is one who won 3 medals. Out of which one is silver in men’s shot put and 2 bronze in men’s javelin and men’s discus throw. Bhimrao Kesarkar was the other who won a silver in men’s javelin.

1984 paralympic games
1984 Paralympic games logo

From 1988 to 2000 :      

In 1988(Seoul, South Korea) 2 athletes have participated and returned with 0 medals. In 1992(Barcelona & Madrid, Spain) & 1996 (Atlanta, US)  9 athletes have participated and returned with no medals. Similarly, in 2000 (Sydney, Australia) 4 athletes didn’t win a medal.

India’s Dry run in Paralympics from 1988 to 2000

2004(Athens, Greece):

12 athletes have participated and 2 of them won 2 medals for India. Devendra Jhajharia won a gold in men’s javelin.  Rajinder Singh Rahelu won a bronze in men’s 56 kg powerlifting.

Devendra in 2004 Paralympic Games

2008(Beijing, China):

5 athletes have participated and won none of the medals.

2012(London, England):

10 of the athletes participated and won a medal. Girisha Nagarajegowda won a  silver in the men’s high jump.

Girish in 2012 London Paralympic games.

2016(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil):

19 athletes participated and won 4 medals.  Mariyappan Thangavelu won a gold in men’s high jump and  Devendra Jhajharia won a gold in men’s javelin throw. This was his 2nd gold in the Paralympics. Deepa Malik won a silver in women’s shot put. She was the first woman to win a medal in the Paralympics. Varun Singh Bhati won a bronze in the men’s high jump.

Mariyappan in Rio 2016 Paralympic games
India’s perfomance in 2016 Paralympics games
2020(Tokyo, Japan):

54 athletes participated and won 19 medals. Due to the corona pandemic, it was held in 2021 but it is called Paralympics Tokyo 2020. This was the first-ever Paralympics in which India participated in many categories and won many medals. Avani Lekhara won gold in shooting, women’s 10m air rifle and she became the first woman to won gold in the Paralympics. Sumit Antil won gold in the men’s javelin throw. Manish Narwal won gold in mixed 50 m pistols. Pramod Bhagat won gold in badminton men’s singles and Krishna Nagar won gold in men’s singles of badminton.

Bhavin Patel won silver in women’s singles of table tennis. Nishad Kumar won the silver men’s high jump. Yogesh Kathuniya won silver in the men’s discus throw. Devendra Jhajharia won silver in men’s javelin throw. This was his third medal in Paralympics and the only person to win 2 gold in Paralympics representing India. Mariyappan Thangavelu and Praveen Kumar each won silver in the men’s high jump. Singhara  Adhana won silver in men’s 50 m pistol shooting. Suhas Lalinkere Yathiraj won silver in badminton men’s singles.

Sundar Singh Gurjar won bronze in men’s javelin throw. Singhara  Adhana won bronze in shooting men’s 10m air rifle. This was his 2nd medal in the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Sharad Kumar won bronze in the men’s high jump. Avani Lekhara won bronze in shooting, women’s 50 m rifle 3 positions and this was her 2nd medal in  Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Harvinder Singh won a bronze in archery men’s individual recurve open. Manoj Sarkar won bronze in badminton men’s singles.

India medals in Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games


  1. Athletics
  2. Shooting
  3. Badminton
  4. Swimming
  5. Table Tennis
  6. Archery
  7. Powerlifting.


Total Gold in Paralympics: 9   (4 – Athletics; 2 – Shooting; 2 – Badminton; 1-Swimming)

Total Silver in Paralympics: 12   ( 9- Athletics; 1-Shooting; 1-Badminton; 1- Table tennis)

Total Bronze in Paralympics: 10  ( 5- Athletics; 2-Shooting; 1-Badminton; 1- Archery; 1-Powerlifting)