What These Sportpersons Are Doing?
Of course the three former Indian hockey stars - Jugraj Singh, Daljit Singh and Baljit Singh - were just doing there job during the #PunjabTerrorAttack police operation, gunning down terrorists. But still, their contribution to the society when the nation really needed it cannot go unnoticed. A real sportsperson, who once represents the country always wants to give something back to the nation. Where MS Dhoni is promoting the territorial army by training with the soldiers, here are some other Indian sporting heroes who believe in giving back to the society even after proving their mettle.
1. Ajit Wadekar
The former cricket captain who famously took India to their maiden Test series wins in the West Indies and England in the 1970s, joined the State Bank of India and helped the Bombay circle to mobilize bank deposits, which was termed as a major boost to the banking system of the time.
2. Prakash Padukone
The first Indian to win the All England Badminton Championships (1980), Prakash Padukone runs the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy which runs various local and national level badminton clinics to train junior-level badminton players.
3. Viswanathan Anand
Five-time World chess champion Viswanathan Anand is actively involved with NIIT in its Mind Champions Academy initiative that goes out schools in India in promotion for chess and providing facilities for development of sharp, logical and analytical minds among students. Thus, helping a young India develop a competitive mindset and skills to succeed.
4. Pullela Gopichand
Had it not been for his badminton academy in Hyderabad, we wouldn't have got excellent world class shuttlers like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap. Gopichand, for a long time was the face of Indian badminton after he became only the second Indian to win the All England Championships in 2001. Gopichand has been one of the pioneering factors in India becoming a force in world badminton.
5. Gagan Narang
The 2012 London Olympics Bronze medallist shooting star runs the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation that organises the Gun for Glory championships for athletes who take up shooting as a sport that brings pride to India.
6. Anil Kumble
An avid photographer, former India captain has a penchant for wildlife conservation. Kumble, along with his wife, oversees The Kumble Foundation that aims at promoting and furthering the cause of conservation, education and sports in India.
7. Rahul Dravid
The Wall, who is currently coaching the India A team, is partners with GoSports Foundation that mentors and raises funds for worthy junior and special athletes, who show potential to win an Olympic medal. There's not a soul who doesn't get inspired when Dravid is your tutor.
8. PT Usha
Sprint legend PT Usha, who is the lone Indian female to make the final of 400m hurdles in Olympics (1984), produces bulk of sprinters and athletes today via her Usha School of Athletics. She is one of the main reasons why young girls in India choose athletics over other less physically strenuous sports.
9. Virender Sehwag
He knows he's past his prime and he still misses being a part of the team but he does have sound sleep. One of only three cricketers to hit Test 300s, Virender Sehwag serves the society by fulfilling his father's dream of educating young kids in Sehwag International School in Jhajjar, Haryana. "My father told me, if you become a player and earn some money, open an institution where kids can study, stay and play as well," Sehwag had told ESPNCricinfo last year. The school has state-of-the-art facilities for sports and academics.
10. Jaspal Rana
Founder of the Jaspal Rana Sports and Physical Education Society, the triple gold medallist at 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Jaspal Rana trains students at the Jaspal Rana Institute of Education and Technology in Dehradun. Rana also won gold at the 1994 World Shooting championships, the 1994 Asian Games and the 1998 CWG. Rana has devoted his time as an investment in young lives as they try and bring laurels to the county, much like himself.
11. Niraj Bajaj
A four-time Indian table tennis champion Niraj Bajaj knows a lot more than just the racquet sport. Having been employed with the Bajaj Group Of Companies in various capacities, Bajaj champions the cause of Olympic athletes by supporting Olympic Gold Quest - an agency that brings together eminent sportspersons, business leaders, sportswriters and talent scouts to identify emerging athletes, understand their training needs and requirements and raise funds to be used for supporting athletes with Olympic medal winning potential. Four athletes backed by the Olympic Gold Quest turned medal winners in 2012 London Games - Vijay Kumar (silver), Gagan Narang (bronze), MC Mary Kom (bronze) and Saina Nehwal (bronze).
12. Amit Luthra
He captained India for 20 years in the 1980s & 90s when Golf didn't have support in India but Amit Luthra, a chartered accountant by profession, is reaping the rewards of his attachment with the sport now. Having shared the course with legends like Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, Luthra started The Golf Foundation, which has brought laurels to the nation, most recently with the likes of Shubham Juglan, the youngest Indian to be world golf champion at just 10. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1996. It is through Luthra's efforts that many young Indian prodigies can dream to be Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
13. Yuvraj Singh
Probably the biggest story of a sportsperson beating cancer in India, Yuvraj Singh runs the Youwecan foundation that raises awareness for early diagnose of cancer and proper treatment. His initiative conducts cancer detection camps in schools and other institutes across India, making the nation ready to tackle the deadly disease.