India’s youngest-ever Deputy Chef De Mission, Arhan Bagati, is all set to lead the country’s first batch of athletes for the Paralympics Tokyo starting today. The 22-year-old Liberal Arts Graduate from Pomona College, USA, has been the goodwill ambassador for Paralympics since 2015, and is now the youngest Deputy Chef De Mission in the world at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Indias First Deputy Chef De Mission for Tokyo Paralympics, Arhan Bagati
Arhan Bagati has previously founded the ‘InRio’ app, which was instrumental in assisting Indian Paralympic Athletes to find locations that are easily accessible to them, including restrooms, restaurants, movie theatres, public parks and more. In 2020, he developed another app called ‘IndTokyo’ to assist the Indian Paralympic Athletes travelling for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, by providing them with diet and nutrition information, and accessible places to visit in Tokyo.
His efforts for the sports and Paralympics movement in the country have been long under way. As a huge fan of the legendary track and field sprinter Milkha Singh, who he met at an event in Delhi in 2014, Arhan got inspired to assist para-athletes in their journey to the Olympics. He helped the Paralympic Committee of India organize and manage Sports For Development Run in 2014, eventually becoming the ‘Awareness and Impact Ambassador’ of the Paralympic Committee of India in 2015.
The youngster has also been the driving force behind the success of some of India’s best para-athletes, Mariyappa Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati, both of whom he sponsored by donating his entire pocket money. Mariyappan went on to win gold and Varun Singh Bhati bagged a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
For his accomplishments, Arhan Bagati was awarded the ‘Honourable Service Dedication and Valuable Contribution to the Paralympic movement in India’ at the 16th Senior National Para Athletic Championship 2016. His work towards empowering differently-abled people has previously led him to create LetsEnable.com, a public service website to help differently-abled people in Delhi-NCR.
As an academic, Arhan believes that academic research paves the way for debates, discussions and ultimately, decision-making in matters of public policy. To that end, he has founded KYARI (Kashmirs Yumberzal Applied Research Institute), which aims to conduct Applied Research on a broad spectrum of topics that impact civic and social issues in Jammu and Kashmir.
Arhan Bagati and the batch of Indian para-athletes have already arrived in Tokyo, and are gearing up to make a historic debut today. The team is high on morale, and Arhan says they expect to bring home a dozen medals, marking this event as India’s best-ever performance at the Paralympics.