The Tamil Nadu government has announced a cash prize of Rs 2 crore for Mariyappan Thangavelu, who won the gold medal in the T42 high jump event at the Rio Paralympics. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said in a press release that she was "delighted to learn" that Thangavelu, who hails from the state's Salem district, became the first Indian to win a medal in high jump at the games. The 21-year-old's gold was also India's third in Paralympics history.
Jayalalithaa's announcement came only a few hours after Thangavelu's mother Saroja, had told Hindustan Times that she had hoped the government would reward her son after his win. The para-athlete will also get Rs 75 lakh from the sports ministry under its cash reward scheme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted that "India is elated" with Thangavelu's win.