The ACE-PARA badminton player Ramesh Tikaram passed away due to coronavirus on Thursday. He also won the Arjuna Award.
Ramesh Tikaram, admitted to a private hospital in Bangalore on 29th June. He took his last breath this afternoon. He was suffering from fever and cold. Ramesh was 51 years old and had a wife and two children.
“Tikaram Sir was the father of para badminton in India. We knew him as the first para badminton player to win an Arjuna award. A national coach and sports administrator,” says Rakesh Pandey, world No. 1 doubles para badminton player and a multiple medallist at Para Asian Games.My association with Tikaram Sir started in 2005-06. He was the coach in the 2006 Para Asian Games. My last tour with him was the 2014 Para Asian Games”.
Tikaram’s journey in sport started in school when he competed with the able-bodied in athletes, volleyball and cricket.
The hospital had refused to hand over the body to Tikaram’s family. As they couldn’t pay more than half of the total bill of Rs 10. “As para athletes came to know about Arjuna awardee Tikaram’s family plight, players pitched in and arranged the remaining amount in couple of hours,” says Amit Saroha, an Arjuna award winning para athlete.
“We don’t know the truth behind the charges. But the exponential growth of para badminton in India is because of Tikaram. I always found him smiling and passionate about the sport. His life revolved around para-badminton even when he was no more associated with the administration of the sport,” says athletics’ Paralympian Girraj Singh, who has travelled with Tikaram in the 2014 Para Asian Games as an official.