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IHF urged to pay for Jugraj's treatment

Onkar Singh | September 03, 2003 15:12 IST

Former hockey players have appealed to the Indian Hockey Federation to pick the medical bills of India's leading hockey player Jugraj Singh, who suffered multiple fractures in a road accident in Dakoha in Jallandhar district of Punjab last night.

Speaking to rediff.com, former India hockey captain Ajitpal Singh said the IHF should follow the example of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which not only picks the medical bills of its international players, but also looks after them during the period of recuperation.

"It is high time that IHF follows suit of the BCCI. I know that the IHF does not have adequate funds, but they could certainly ask the Sports Ministry to get funds released from the Prime Minister's relief fund for this purpose. Jugraj is the future of the Indian hockey and it is the duty of the IHF and team sponsors to look after him when he needs them most," Ajitpal said.

Ashok Kumar, son of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, also echoed similar sentiments.

"If the Prime Minister's office could release funds to help Bismillah Khan, why can't the same be done in the case of Jugraj," he asked.

"The Indian Hockey Federation should look after the players if it expects them to do well," he added.

When contacted, IHF secretary K Jothikumaran was unwilling to say whether IHF would pick the bills for Jugarj's treatment.

"I have spoken to the parents of Jugraj and told them we will be too happy to render them any assistance," he said.

Asked whether any assistance means picking his medical bills, Jothikumaran shot back: "Please do not put words in my mouth. Just quote me as I told you."

Chief coach of the Indian hockey team Rajinder Singh has left for Ludhiana to be with Jugraj and his parents.

"I am told they have plastered his right leg and now they are operating on his arm and thigh. I have been told that he is doing fine. I spoke to him before the operation and he was cheerful and confident that he would be back on the field soon," Rajinder told rediff.com on phone from Ludhiana.

Jugraj is undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical Hospital in Ludhiana.

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