Chandigarh: Notwithstanding the extreme posturing, war hysteria, bans on artistes and films amid plummeting Indo-Pak relations, in the post surgical strikes that followed Uri attack, players from Pakistan have come to the aid of their Indian competitors. Neglected by administration of Union Territory of Chandigarh, two physically challenged players from the city would be able to represent India in an international cricket tournament, thanks to the assistance by players from across the Radcliffe. Veer Singh Sandhu and Rohit Andora, who are residents of Cheshire Homes in Chandigarh’s Sector 21A are scheduled to depart on Sunday as part of the Indian squad for the international cricket tournament at Malaysia being organised by the International Cricket Council for the Physically Challenged (ICCPC).
This may not have been possible had the players from Pakistan Wheel Chair Cricket Association (PWCA) who are also participating in the tournament not offered equipment and bear other expenses. “We are really proud that we had made it to the Indian team. This is our first experience. We hope that we will bring laurels to the country and city. The best part of our tournament is that we will be playing our first match against Pakistan and guess what Pakistan team players have come in front to support us,” the two players told Daily Post in an exclusive interview.“Who says there are no good people in Pakistan? For us Pakistan team players are better than our so-called generous Chandigarh administration officials. The moment players from across the border came to know that we even do not have the automatic wheelchairs for the tournament, they immediately contacted our head at Agra and offered to provide us the vital equipment,” shared Rohit.
“Not only is this, other than our travelling fee, that is Rs 40,000, all other expenses including flight tickets, food and stay is being offered by the Pakistani team players only. For us, they are no less than angels,” added Veer. Disappointed with the UT officials, Veer and Rohit said, “For a long period we have been literally pleading with the officials from both the Chandigarh Administration and Social Welfare Department to at least provide us automatic wheelchairs, but every time they just turned a deaf ear.” Commenting on the recent Mass Distribution of Aids and Appliances for the Divyangjan function organised by Department of Social Welfare, Women & Child Development UT, Veer said, “These are only a publicity stunts by officials to stay in media limelight.” “In a country like India where Cricket is not just another sport but also a religion, the game played by people like us has still not the stratum it deserved. However, we are hopeful that someday the Chandigarh Administration will wake up from a deep slumber and will recognise our talent,” shared Rohit.
However, On October 20, they will be playing their first match against Pakistan. Other than India and Pakistan two other countries including Bangladesh and Nepal is also participating in the tournament. Meanwhile, despite repeated attempts by Daily Post, the Director Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Nishu Singal, could not be contacted for comment.
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