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Akram bowls City over

THE SULTAN of swing, Wasim Akram, arrived in the City today turning heads and attention from cricket to diabetes. The former Pakistan cricket team captain and one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game was here to distribute prizes to three chemists of the City identified as winners in a contest by the Accu-Check division of Roche for which he is the brand ambassador.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 23:53 IST

THE SULTAN of swing, Wasim Akram, arrived in the City today turning heads and attention from cricket to diabetes. The former Pakistan cricket team captain and one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game was here to distribute prizes to three chemists of the City identified as winners in a contest by the Accu-Check division of Roche for which he is the brand ambassador.

The prizes were awarded for selling the largest number of Accu-Check active kit, a device for self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) level in diabetic patients. However, apart from numbers the cache was quality of service on the part of the chemist/stockist in the form of customer satisfaction by attracting diabetics through alluring display to use the device in their fight against the killer disease and send company officials for door-to- door service of customers.

Vijay Mehta, owner of Rohan Chemist located near Bhandari Hospital, beamed with pride as he showed the shield bearing the autograph of Akram, which he received from the cricketer’s hands as the first prize. He was also awarded a cheque for Rs 5,000. He informed that Akram spent the longest time - about 15 minutes - at his shop and while leaving congratulated him for having performed the best and for a nicely maintained outlet.

Akram was bowled over by the greeting welcoming him to the City, written in bold letters in Urdu script, which he declared had been his first in his native tongue during his current tour as brand ambassador in India. Like the gentleman he is known to be, he interacted with not only the staff but also the family members, went round the entire establishment and readily gave autographs to everyone present while posing for photographs in between.

Two diabetic patients, who came to the shop during his visit, benefited from his words of advise. Earlier he also visited Paras Chemist at Khatiwala Tank and gave them the second prize and Meera Chemist at Anand Bazaar and gave them the third prize.

Akram, who is a diabetic since age 18, said that his life was an example as to how the disease affected even the young and how through exercise and leading a balanced lifestyle normalcy could be maintained in daily routine without letting the disease pose a hindrance to performance.

He said that as per a report released by World Health Organisation (WHO), 20 per cent or 33 million of the world’s diabetics are Indian and more than 30 per cent of this population was under age 40.