Like when the Indian hockey wizard refused to offer the Nazi salute to Hitler or when he mesmerised the Fuhrer with his stick work and was offered a higher position in the German army and citizenship of the country only to reply in the negative.
|Hemantchand Babloo Dubey|
But few know that had it not been for Dhyan Chand, the Indian team may not have been able to travel to the Games at all.
Hockey enthusiast and a family friend of the Dhyan Chand household, Hemantchand Babloo Dubey told MiD DAY yesterday that the Indian team may never have made it to the Games due to shortage of funds. “Dhyan Chandji himself chipped in with Rs 650 -- a huge sum back then -- to ensure the cash-strapped Indian Hockey Federation was able to field a team for the Olympics. The IHF’s audit report (a copy of which is with MiD DAY) shows the amount contributed by the Jhansi Heroes Club – a team formed by Dhyan Chand himself,” said Dubey, a former hockey player and cancer survivor, now living in Betul, Madhya Pradesh.
Thanks to Dubey, Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar has been able to source the rare video of the Indian hockey team’s 8-1 triumph over Germany in the final at the Berlin Games. “I managed to procure the video from a German man through social media. I told him it would be a matter of national pride for us to have that video, and he readily agreed to share it with me,” said Dubey, who plans to show the game across schools in Betul to commemorate National Sports Day today which happens to be Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary. “Today’s kids will be shocked to see how players like Dhyan Chandji, Roop Singh etc mesmerised their opponents and fans. It was almost impossible to get the ball from Dhyan Chandji’s stick -- he moved with the ball in a zig-zag manner, almost like a snake,” said Dubey.
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