Mohammad Shahid given no financial help from Hockey India yet
A former member of the Indian Hockey Team and an Olympic Gold Medallist has fallen prey to a pathetic amount of neglect by a government who seems to forget players that have brought glory to the country in the past.
56-year-old Mohammad Shahid, who was a part of the gold winning team that represented India in the Olympics in Moscow in 1980, has been left to fend for himself at a time of need. Three days ago, the man was admitted to the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon where reports suggest he needs a kidney transplant quite urgently. However, the surgery has been put on hold as his liver is too damaged and would, apparently, be unable to withstand the stress of a major transplant.
Former captain of the Hockey Team, Dhanraj Pillay, has already written to Hockey India requesting financial assistance for the man who had done so much for his country.
Shahid's nephew Mohammad Nasir spoke to Indian Express and point out that Shahid had a credit authorization card in his name issued by the Indian Railways which stated that his expenses were the State's responsibility. “No member of the Indian Railways or Hockey India has come to inquire about his well-being. Isn’t it sad that a hockey player who was an Olympic gold medalist, a Padam Shri and a Class 1 officer with the Railways gets this sort of treatment,” said Nasir, an employee of ONGC.
The Railway letter had been issued nearly two days after Shahid was airlifted to be admitted to the ICU. Still, there has been no sign of the money and a complete lack of support from the Hockey Federation as well. “Until now, the family has been making payments by cash to the hospital on our own. We have spent close to two and a half lakhs already,” said Nasir.
Nasir, who seems very disappointed with the current state of affairs, acknowledged that former players and his uncle's teammates had been present with the family during their time at the hospital. “On the day Shahid mamu was being taken to Delhi, we got a call from the office of Dr. Narinder Batra (President of Hockey India) office asking whether we would want to get him shifted to Dr. Batra’s hospital in Delhi. But the doctors in Varanasi had already suggested that he be airlifted to Medanta. So we had him admitted to Medanta. But ever since that first call we have had no contact from the federation or any offer of financial support,” he added.
Since then, news has emerged that the Ministry of Sports in India has offered a sum of Rs 10 Lakhs for the treatment of the Hockey veteran. This incident uncovers the ungratefulness and unwillingness of sports governing bodies when it comes to standing by their players in times of dire need.
Shahid's condition remains critical. He is currently under observation. His expenses are being covered by the Indian Railways.