While Indian hockey is looking up in the run-up to the Rio Olympics with a historic FIH Champions Trophy silver medal, the news off the field is not very promising.
Former India hockey captain Mohammad Shahid in his hospital bed at Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon. He is suffering from severe liver and kidney ailments
Two past masters — BP Govinda and Mohammad Shahid — are battling for life from their hospital beds in Bangalore and Gurgaon respectively.
Govinda (65), a speedy forward, who was part of India's only World Cup-winning team in 1975, suffered a freak fall last week at the Sports Authority of India guest house in Bangalore where he was accommodated by Hockey India as part of his national selection duty.
"Dad was here for the Indian women's hockey team selection. Last Wednesday, he slipped in the washroom and fell, breaking three of his ribs. One of the ribs pierced his lung, resulting in internal bleeding. The incident happened at 3 am, but he did not want to disturb anyone at that time, so he waited in his room till 6 am before calling for help. He was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a week. The latest scan reports have shown some traces of blood in the chest cavity and doctors are waiting till that clears. They will perform another scan on him in a day or two. Let's hope there is some positive news," Govinda's daughter Ahana told mid-day from her father's bedside at Fortis Hospital in Bangalore.
Meanwhile, Shahid (56), a mercurial forward, and part of India's last Olympic gold-winning team at Moscow 1980, is fighting a graver battle. His liver and kidney are malfunctioning and the next 24 to 48 hours are said to be critical.
"The doctors here are constantly monitoring his condition and we have been told that he will need surgery. We (family) have to make a decision (on the surgery) and we are quite worried," Shahid's daughter Heena said from his bedside at the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurugram.
Former India captain Dhanraj Pillay also informed that Shahid's condition is critical. "I'm constantly in touch with his family. I've been told that he may need a kidney transplant. Shahidbhai is one of the legends of Indian and I appeal to the government and authorities to ensure the best and speedy treatment for him," said Pillay.