When the newly-crowned Junior Hockey World Cup champions meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, on top of their agenda will be seeking jobs which they feel their state governments and clubs have failed to provide.
Gurjant Singh, who scored in the final against Belgium which India won 2-1 to clinch the trophy after 15 years, said: “We need security. The Punjab government (his state) should provide us with jobs. When we meet the PM on December 28 we will be taking up the issue with him.”
Gurjant, who is playing for ONGC in the ongoing 121st All India Beighton Cup, is one of the five players the PSU has in its ranks from the World Cup-winning team.
“We have got R25 lakh each from the Punjab government which is great. But we need security which a job can provide. We have just won the World Cup and our aim is to win a medal in the 2018 senior World Cup,” said Simranjeet Singh, the other scorer in the final.
“We need some security as if we pick up an injury (in the Beighton Cup), who will take care of us? We are jobless,” said Gurjant.
Reacting to the players’ plea, ONGC coach Sandeep Sangwan said, “We are looking into it (trying to get job for the players). At ONGC, we have certain policies and at the moment we have three vacancies. We are thinking of giving them jobs.”
On the World Cup win, Vikramjeet Singh, another member of the team, said beating Australia in the semifinals was the toughest.
“We had the belief that we could reach the final. The semifinal against Australia was our toughest test.”
“Life has changed after winning the World Cup. When I scored the first goal it was like the roof came down in Lucknow,” said Gurjant.
Most of the players who lifted the trophy hail from Gurdaspur in Punjab.
Gurjant said members of the team who won the junior World Cup in 2001 got all the benefits.
“During their time, the players were treated well and most of them got jobs as police officers and so on. We expect some support as well,” said Gurjant.