Indian hockey Olympian Mohinder Pal Singh, who mastered converting penalty corners into goals in 1980s, is on dialysis as he has still not found a kidney donor. Both of Singh’s kidneys are damaged and he has been searching for a donor for about a month.
Singh, 58, was admitted to the Apollo Hospital in south Delhi and discharged on Tuesday,, his wife Shivjeet said on Wednesday. He is at home and will be visiting the hospital a few times every week for dialysis.
A group of senior hockey Olympians sought a meeting with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday to put in a request for assistance to the ailing former penalty corner specialist. But the meeting couldn’t take place as Rijiju was apparently not available. The meeting is now likely to take place on Thursday, a sports ministry source said.
The Olympians, including Maharaj Krishan Kaushik and Romeo James, besides Shivjeet, are going to request the Sports Minister to provide assistance to the full-back under Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS), and to also recommend Singh’s name for immediate replacement of at least one kidney at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Under PDUNWFS, the ministry provides assistance for medical treatment up to Rs 10 lakh for an “outstanding sportsperson or of any of his/her family members living in indigent circumstances”.
“I was supposed to go for Tuesday’s meeting with the Sports Minister, but I am presently out of Delhi. I am told that the meeting didn’t happen on Wednesday. We, former India players, are requesting him to help in kidney replacement of MP, who has damaged both his kidney and is undergoing dialysis,” Zafar Iqbal, who has played with Singh and worked with him at Air India, told IANS.
Ashok Kumar Dhyan Chand, a former India captain, said Singh deserved the assistance as he was one of the best in business in his prime.
“The government should provide to MP Singh whatever assistance is available for former India players who are ailing. He was the best penalty corner converter in his time [1980s], besides being a pillar of the Indian Airlines team,” Ashok Kumar, son of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, told IANS.
Singh’s wife Shivjeet said she has circulated a request for a kidney donor on the social media, and all hockey stalwarts have endorsed it.
“He was also being treated after water had reached his lungs during dialysis. He was discharged from Apollo Hospital on Tuesday and has returned home. But he will be going to the hospital thrice a week for dialysis. We have circulated a request for a kidney donor only on social media, and nowhere else,” she said.
The sports ministry source said that only the timing of the meeting remains to be confirmed.
“His papers are with us and the processing of the same has started and I don’t think there should be a problem in Singh getting the assistance available under PDUNWFS. But as far as their request for out of queue treatment at the AIIMS is concerned, that request will have to go the health ministry as only they are authorised to take that decision,” the source said.
Singh, having attended St. Mary’s School in Meerut, captained India at the Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1982 and the same year he played his first international. He went on to play in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and the 1986 World Cup in London.