New Delhi [India], Sept. 11 : National carriers Air India on Sunday facilitated Paralympians Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati who won gold and bronze medal respectively for India at Rio, by giving them two business class tickets.
The Chairman and Managing Director of Air India Lohani Ashwani Lohani wrote, "Air India is indeed proud to offer you two (for you and your companion) return business class between any two destinations of the entire Air India network valid for a period of one year." Earlier Air India also offered free business class air tickets to the silver and bronze medallist of Olympics P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik across its network.
Thangavelu scripted history at the ongoing Rio Paralympics, becoming the first Indian para-athlete to bag a gold medal in the men's high jump-T42 finals on day two of the prestigious tournament at the Olympic Stadium.
The 21-year-old, hailing from Salem district in Tamil Nadu, grabbed top honours with a best leap of 1.89 metres, while compatriot Varun Singh Bhati produced his personal best mark of 1.86 metres to win the bronze medal behind American Sam Grewe, who also registered the same mark.
Thangavelu's gold is only India's third in Paralympics history. Earlier, swimmer Murlikant Petkar won gold in the 1972 Games and Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia had won gold in Athens 2004.