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Hockey Olympian Mohd Shahid’s widow threatens to return his awards 

The late hockey Olympian Mohammad Shahid’s wife Parveen on Tuesday said she would return his Padma Shri, Arjuna and other awards to the government, if it did not fulfill the promises made after his death. She accused the Centre of not keeping its word.

lucknow Updated: Jul 18, 2018 15:30 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Hockey Olympian,Mohammad Shahid,Padma Shri
Shahid, who belonged to Varanasi, was a member the Indian hockey team that won the gold medal in the Moscow Olympics. He died on July 20, 2016 after a prolonged illness. (HT Photo)

The late hockey Olympian Mohammad Shahid’s wife Parveen on Tuesday said she would return his Padma Shri, Arjuna and other awards to the government, if it did not fulfill the promises made after his death. She accused the Centre of not keeping its word.

Shahid, who belonged to Varanasi, was a member the Indian hockey team that won the gold medal in the Moscow Olympics. He died on July 20, 2016 after a prolonged illness.

Parveen said several people, including ministers, visited her place after her husband’s death.

Ram Sakal Gurjar, sports minister in the previous SP government, promised a national tournament would be organised in Shahid’s name every year, she said.

Likewise, the then union minister of state for sports Vijay Goel assured that his ministry would extend full support to a hockey tournament in Varanasi, she said. Two years had elapsed but the Central government had not taken any initiative, she alleged.

“My financial condition is not so strong that I can afford to sponsor or organise a tournament at the local, district or state level. If the government doesn’t fulfill the promises made after his death, I will return Shahid’s awards, including Padma Shri and Arjun Award,” she said.

She said the government had also promised that a petrol pump or gas agency would be allotted.

“But promises are still promises (have not been kept). I run the family on pension. If this is the situation within two years of his death, who will remember Mohammad Shahid in future?” she asked.

She said she would visit New Delhi after July 20, try to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and return the awards.

She also expressed anger over not being given time to meet the PM during his recent visit to Varanasi.

She said former Olympians Dhanraj Pillai and Zafar Iqbal had promised that a hockey academy in the name of Mohammad Shahid will be opened in Varanasi.

Mohammad Shahid was employed as a sports officer in the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW). He received Arjuna Award in 1980-81 and Padma Shri in in 1986.

His daughter Hina said, “We want a big hockey tournament to mark papa’s birthday on April 14 every year. In 2017, my mother organised an event with the help of sportspersons. But it could not be held this year.” Mohd Shahid was born on April 14, 1960.

After his death, it was announced that a stadium on the DLW campus in Varanasi will be named after Mohammad Shahid. Though a board bearing his name was put up at the stadium, it was removed later.

Chief public relations officer, DLW, Nitin Mehrotra said the stadium’s name could not be changed as the Railway Board did not approve it.

VARANASI DM MEETS OLYMPIAN’S WIFE

District magistrate Surendra Singh visited the house of Mohammad Shahid as a representative of the state government on Tuesday and spoke to his wife. He said, “A report about her demands will be sent to the state government.” He also said that facilities at the shooting range in Varanasi will be improved as demanded by the late hockey Olympian’s son.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 15:30 IST