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Bihar's only Arjuna in dire straits

Chandeshwar Prasad, who captained India's football team and was selected for the Asian XI team in 1969, gets his salary in instalments.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 15:39 IST

India celebrated the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on Tuesday and the President honoured sportspersons with Arjuna Awards. But Bihar's lone Arjuna awardee has been waging a battle for survival for very long.

Chandeshwar Prasad, who won the award way back in 1971, has been working as a liaison officer in the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) for the past 22 years. The BSRTC has been unable to pay the employees' salary for quite some time now. And even if it comes once in a while, it's given in instalments.

Prasad has a kidney problem and wants to go outside the state for treatment. But the government has no money to pay his salary. "I am not asking for any favour. I just want my dues to be paid," said the athlete.

Prasad, who was the captain of the Indian football team in 1971 and was selected for the Asian XI team in 1969, said he had been paid accumulated amounts of Rs 75,000 and Rs 52,000 some time back.

The man, who was the stopper back of the Indian team from 1964 to 1971 and captained Mohun Bagan (1969-71) and Mohammedan Sporting in 1973, said he met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but nothing happened.

Prasad on Tuesday gave an application to the Minister for Art, Culture and Youth Affairs Janardan Singh Sigriwal during an award ceremony here and sought funds for his treatment.

First Published: Aug 31, 2006 05:53 IST