Para sports have been a part of the Commonwealth Games since the Manchester edition in 2002. The good thing about its inclusion in the CWG is that it is treated at the same level as other sports. No separate, ticket, so separate medal table. If a para-athlete wins a medal, it contributes to the overall medal tally of the country at the games.
Years of including para-athletes in the main event have led to the rule that each edition should have the following para-sports disciplines- Aquatics, Athletics, Lawn Bowls, and Power lifting.
It is in that last sport in which Indian para-athletes have collected three medals, while swimming and athletics have seen a medal each in the country's record. Let us see who these inspiring men and women are who have excelled at the highest level.
Ranjith Kumar Jayaseelan (2006- Athletics)
Seated discus thrower Ranjith Kumar Jayaseelan made history in 2006 after becoming the first Indian para-athlete to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. His 29.88m attempt was enough to win him the bronze medal.
While his heroics at the Melbourne Games remains one of his best achievements, the Dhyan Chand awardee continues to lend his support and voice to many aspiring para-athletes in the form of a coach and mentor.
Prasanta Karmakar (2010- Aquatics)
Besides being one of the few para-athletes to win India a medal, Prasanta Karmakar is the only swimmer from the country to get a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games. His 27.48 second-bronze medal-winning swim will certainly be one of the crowning moments of his career.
Moreover, he went on to win a silver and a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games. The holder of multiple Asian records was also the coach of the Indian Para-swimming team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Sakina Khatun (2014- Powerlifting)
Powerlifter Sakina Khatun is the only female para-athlete to win a medal at the CWG, something that may change at the Birmingham edition. She had won the bronze medal in her category at the Glasgow games.
In 2018, Khatun added another feather to her cap by winning a silver medal at the Para Asian Games. Moreover, despite being the only woman powerlifter from India at the Tokyo Paralympics, she had finished in a commendable 5th place.
Rajinder Rahelu (2014- Powerlifting)
While Sakina Khatun was making waves in the women's para-powerlifting at the 2014 edition, it was Rajinder Rahelu's silver medal that made him another para-athlete to win at the CWG.
Despite having struggled with polio all his life, Rahelu lifting 180.5 kg is nothing short of inspirational. The athlete has also left his mark in the Paralympics after bagging a bronze at the 2004 edition of the competition.
Sachin Chaudhary (2018- Powerlifting)
Another powerlifter to make the list is Sachin Chaudhary. He gave India its first medal in the para-sports at the 2018 Gold Coast Games. His combined effort of 181 kg was just enough for him to get a podium finish and win the bronze medal.