Mariyappan Thangavelu who scripted history at Rio Olympics (Paralympics) after winning the gold medal has donated Rs 30 lakh from the prize money towards his government school. Thangavelu had won the medal for the men’s high jump event. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had announced a reward of Rs 2 crore to Thangavelu, the Indian to win a gold medal in the high jump event in Paralympics. Mariyappan hails from Periyavadagampatti which is a village located 50 km from Salem in the western part of the state.
Mariyappan’s family members had said that he met with an accident as a child of five years, on the way to school. He had his right leg crushed below the knee, while a bus run over him which left him with the permanent disability. R. Rajendran, who was his physical education teacher at the Government school in his hometown inspired him to pursue athletics and high jump. He later many competitions on his way to the Olympics.
Mariyappan, 21, later did his graduation in Business administration; however, he could not sit for his final semester examinations owing to his preparations fo the Rio Olympics. This move of donation by Mariyappan comes with a hope that schools and sports authorities in India will be more aware of the condition of sports in the country and also value the importance of Paralympians.