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Blind Chess Champ Denied Reward Money, Appeals To HC

| Updated: April 4, 2024 10:44

Darpan Inani has been given only Rs 40 lakhs as reward

Blind chess champion Darpan Inani has appealed to the Gujarat High Court to ensure he gets  the full Rs 3 crore reward he is entitled to for winning two gold medals at an international championship. He has been given only Rs 40 lakh.

His advocate, Keyur Gandhi, emphasised Inani’s eligibility and achievements. Justice V D Nanavati praised Inani’s efforts, highlighting the need to encourage such players. 

The High Court has sought a response from the state government. It has scheduled further proceedings for April 26.

Vadodara boy

Inani, a 25-year-old from Vadodara, approached the court seeking directions to the state government and Sports Authority of Gujarat to release the cash reward payable under the 2022 sports policy for players winning national and international tournaments.

Gandhi told the court that Inani had participated in the Para Asian Games in China in 2023 and won two gold medals for India, one individual and one team, in Rapid Chess.

While he is entitled to a Rs 3 crore reward, he has only been paid Rs 40 lakh. In contrast, a team member from Odisha, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, received Rs 1.5 crore from the Odisha government. 

Policy misinterpreted?

Gandhi argued that the authorities misinterpreted the policy regarding cash rewards in the physically challenged category. Inani falls within the category eligible for cash rewards by participating and winning in a tournament organised by the World Chess Federation. 

Inani lost his vision at the age of three due to a reaction to an injection. His parents chose not to send him to a special school so he could mix with regular students. The only child of a jeweller and a homemaker, Inani studied at home till he was eight. He later secured admission to a school on the condition that there would be no concessions made for him.

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