Gavaskar's CHAMPS, govt assist ailing hockey Olympian MP Singh

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By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Ailing former India hockey penalty corner specialist Mohinder Pal Singh has received some well-deserved assistance, first from cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar’s NGO and on Monday the sports ministry provided Rs 10 lakh for his treatment. Both kidneys of Singh have been damaged, and he is suffering from high blood pressure as well.

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Shivjeet, wife of 58-year-old former full-back, along with a few former India hockey stars, had met sports minister Kiren Rijiju on October 23 and had requested for assistance for the Olympian, who is on dialysis in a Delhi hospital.

“The sports ministry has sanctioned Rs.10 lakh towards the treatment of hockey Olympian MP Singh, who is suffering from a chronic kidney ailment and is currently on dialysis. The money, sanctioned under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS), was given to his wife Shivjeet on Monday,” the ministry said in a statement.

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Earlier, the Gavaskar-headed Caring Helping Assisting Motivating and Promoting Sportspersons (CHAMPS) Foundation had sent Rs.1 lakh as immediate medical assistance as Singh has been undergoing dialysis and needed immediate help. Sivjeet confirmed to IANS about receiving the assistance from CHAMPS Foundation on November 6.

Former captain Gavaskar, along with his wife Marshneil, former India captain Gundappa Viswanath, and a few others, runs CHAMPS Foundation, under which it has been helping sportspersons from different disciplines since 1999.

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Shivjeet said that her husband also has the issue of high blood pressure. “He is going thrice a week to Apollo Hospital for dialysis. Besides that, he also the high blood pressure problem for which he is taking medicine,” she informed IANS on Monday.

“It is a constant endeavour of the sports ministry to ensure support to anyone who has served sport in India. MP Singh ji has contributed richly to hockey, both as a player and a coach. His physical condition is a matter of great concern for all of us. Kidney treatment is an expensive one and we wanted to extend as much financial support as we could,” said Rijiju.

“I have also spoken to Mahesh Sharma ji, who is Member of Parliament of NOIDA [Gautam Buddha Nagar] where MP Singh ji lives and a letter has also been sent from his office to PM Relief Fund so that the hospital bills can be paid through the fund,” he said. Singh lives in NOIDA, which falls under Gautam Buddha Nagar Parliamentary constituency.

When Shivjeet — along with well-known former India players Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, Vineet Kumar, Romeo James, and Arvind Chabbra, and former India coach Harendra Singh – had met Rijiju last month, the minister had called up Mahesh Sharma had had requested him to help the Olympian.

Under PDUNWFS, the ministry provides assistance “to outstanding sportspersons of yesteryear living in indigent circumstances, who had brought glory to the country in sports”. Up to Rs.10 lakh can be granted as assistance for medical treatment under this scheme.

Singh, who attended St. Mary’s School in Meerut, captained India at the Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1982 and the same year he made his senior international debut. He was part of the Indian team that won the Asian Cup in 2007. Earlier, he had played at the 1986 World Cup in London and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.



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