There are certain problems with the Indian Hockey Federation and none but the administrators are responsible for this. It is an unusual statement from me, as I have always taken up issues and discussed their solutions from a common man’s perspective. Sponsors and public interest apart, but it is the responsibility of Hockey India to provide basic health care facilities to our players. Let me take up the story of Rajiv Mishra.
He was an excellent drag flicker at the Junior Hockey World Cup, 1997, in which India emerged as the runner-up. With his breathtaking speed and fantastic ball handling abilities, many believed him to be the future of Indian hockey, until he got injured, missed a year of play because of lack of specialist treatment and was thrown out of the senior squad. Last heard he was a ticket collector in a train in Calcutta.
The young lad devoted his life to a game he passionately loved. All these years, he has hardly received any support from the government. Today, he claims that hates the game, being almost in tears. Our players until recently were struggling for their health insurances. Does our government expect every sportsman to make comebacks like Pullela Gopi Chand? Something is terribly wrong here!
All I can do is wish our players the strength and will to win the ongoing hockey world cup. Atleast that will create new opportunities for the great game.