By Tom Degun

Andrew_Parsons_22-09-11September 22 - The Brazilian Government has praised the country's National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for their work in fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, which affect 24.5 million people in Brazil.

The Brazilian Government, through its board of representatives, has decided to honour the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (BPC) for its constant efforts in promoting awareness of disabilities and development through sports.

"I am very happy that sport's been remembered," said Andrew Parsons (pictured), the President of the BPC and member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board.

"Sport is a mechanism for social inclusion, health promotion and exercise of citizenship."

The award came as the Rio 2016 Organising committee launched its "My Paralympic Picture" contest for September.

The contest invites people all over the world to take photos that represent what the Paralympic Movement means to them and upload them at

Then, from October 5 to November 7, fans can vote on the best photo on the website and the selected winners' photos will be featured on Rio 2016's website during the week of November 21.

Currently placed among the top 10 Paralympic nations, Brazil aims to reach the top five by 2016, when the country will stage the Paralympic Games.

In November, more than 200 athletes will represent Brazil at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico.

The team will aim to surpass the 228 medals they won at 2007 Rio Parapan Games, when they finished top the medal table.

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