Former boxer Achil Kumar was sitting in his company car on the Delhi-Jaipur highway when he saw a family of migrant workers with luggage on their heads. In addition to the luggage, the man also carried his daughter. I got out of the car and offered them biscuits and water – everything I had eaten then, said Kumar, who is now Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) in the Gurugramma. In the blink of an eye, I saw hundreds of other people coming towards me. I didn’t know who to help and who not.
Kumar, champion of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, is one of the many former frontline athletes in India during a three-week suspension due to the Covida 19 pandemic.
I’ve never seen such a scene in my life. It was difficult, Mr. Kumar said. I’ve tried to help people, but how can we help a migrant worker who has no choice but to walk 600 km home?
As an Olympian, Kumar was also busy sealing the border with Delhi Haryana from the beginning of the blockade. Initially there were many difficulties. Some cooperated, but some didn’t. There are always people who don’t play by the rules.
Like Kumar, Jodger Sharma also works for the Haryana Police Department. Currently, Sharma won the final of the World T20 in Hisar in 2007, which was won by the Indian team led by RS Dhoni.
Until recently, Sharma had no problem signing autographs during his ministry or surrendering out of selfishness. But now everything has changed and social distance has become the new norm.
I have a lot of patrolling to do in town. There were many times I taught people how to fight the coronavirus, and they pulled out their cell phones and started grabbing themselves, Sharma said. I discourage them and ask them to concentrate on what I say.
This is risky because the policy must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patrols have increased. I took part in the investigation to ensure security at public meetings. Now it’s over, says the old acquaintance. We need to notify people of this medical emergency now. If we are responsible for the dissemination of information, we must also save ourselves.
Former star player of the Indian hockey team, Gagan Ajit Singh, who works for the Punjab police in Amritsar, keeps order in his area and also distributes food parcels to people in need.
The risk is high, but the blame comes first. We take all the necessary precautions, Gagan said.
Former Gagana captain Rajpal Singh, who also worked for the Punjab police and was stationed in the Mohali district, was very busy during the first days of the national blockade.
It hasn’t been easy for us to make people understand the difference between a curfew and a closing time, Rajpal said. Sometimes we had to impound cars.
Like Gaghan, Rajpal has also been involved in organising food and basic needs for the slums in his district. Many hockey players came to me and said they wanted to contribute to the food supply for underprivileged people. We have identified 30 families who will provide food to the needy, Mr Rajpal said.
Harvant Kaur, former Olympic discus thrower and medalist of the Commonwealth Games, sits in a cage for women and children in Patiale. Kaur helped the girl leave Punjab for Khari’an, although the state borders were sealed to take care of her sick mother.
His mother was dying, Kaur said. So I organized his trip with the help of my colleague who coordinated it with the Haryana police, Kaur said. I also received a phone call from older couples whose children have moved abroad. They panicked because of a limited food supply. I gave them the food they needed.
Härendra Singh, who has coached the national men’s and women’s hockey teams, is now director of Air India at New Delhi International Airport. Härendra also participated in the rescue of the Air India twins in Wuhan, China. All preparatory and logistical activities on site were planned and carried out under his supervision.
As soon as these flights reached the bay of the airport at the end of February – beginning of March, Harendra, in a protective suit, was responsible for the safe disembarkation of passengers and luggage.