Legendary batsman and former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar came to the aid of Mohinder Pal Singh, offering financial assistance to the stricken former Indian hockey player.
Mohinder Pal Singh, better known as MP Singh, was a penalty corner specialist during his prime.
He played for the Indian hockey team at the 1986 World Cup and the Seoul 1988 Olympics alongside Mohammad Shahid, MM Somaiya, Mervyn Fernandes, and Ashok Kumar.
The 58-year-old MP Singh was diagnosed with a chronic kidney ailment in 2017, and his condition worsened a month ago, when he was hospitalised in Delhi after both his kidneys were damaged.
Though the Arjuna awardee’s family received help from the sports ministry, regular medical expenses meant that they were struggling to make ends meet.
This is when Sunil Gavaskar stepped in to help through ‘The CHAMPS Foundation’, an organisation that offers financial assistance to former sportspersons once they retire. CHAMPS stands for Caring, Helping, Assisting, Motivating, Promoting Sportspersons.
“I have often read about the hard times that our former Olympians and medallists face in later years. The information about MP Singh also reached me through the media,” Gavaskar told PTI.
“We would like to help out more such former international players and the media plays an important role in getting those stories to us.”
Sunil Gavaskar, one of the trustees at ‘The CHAMPS Foundation’, helped set it up almost two decades ago with a personal contribution and some donations from corporate companies.
“We had organised a tournament with the members of the 1983 World Cup (winning) team and it was partnered by industrialists and corporate heads with their companies making a donation to the corpus of the fund,” said Gavaskar.
The initiative came as a big relief for MP Singh, who visits the hospital three times a week for dialysis. It is a process he has to continue until a matching kidney donor is found.