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Forgotten Bhengra is grateful to Sunny

The Indian Hockey Federation had been indifferent. But former World Cupper Gopal Bhengra found a saviour in Sunil Gavaskar, who ensured there was finally some peace and happiness in his life.

By Our Correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 20.03.17
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Ranchi: The Indian Hockey Federation had been indifferent. But former World Cupper Gopal Bhengra found a saviour in Sunil Gavaskar, who ensured there was finally some peace and happiness in his life.

For someone who had represented India at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and played alongside players like Ashok Kumar, the post-retirement days had been harrowing. He was reduced to crushing stones for a living. 
Nevertheless, life took a turn for Gopal when Gavaskar decided to intervene, after coming to know of his plight through newspaper reports.

“Since 2000, Mr Gavaskar has been sending money to my account. I was told that he was very keen to help me.

“At that time, he used to send Rs 1,000 and now that amount has gone up to Rs 7,500. It’s purely because of Mr Gavaskar that I could provide education to my kids and get them married. 

“All from the money he has been sending so far. I got absolutely nothing from the hockey federation,” the 71-year-old, who got emotional, said after meeting Gavaskar for the very first time at the JSCA International Stadium commentary box on Sunday.

Gopal, who played for Mohun Bagan for six years (1980-86) and had been captain as well, was gifted a India cricket team jersey from the former India captain.

Gavaskar, on his part, said: “It’s a proud moment for me too, having met a World Cupper… Always feels nice to help someone who’s in need.”