Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar has written a letter to India’s PM Narendra Modi, calling for inclusion of more and more medal winners at international level in the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
Tendulkar cited the example of Hockey legend Mohd Shahid, who faced lots of problems due to his health during his last days.
"Not all sportspersons have been historically allocated government jobs, hence even if limited pool of international medal winners are considered, we can prevent incidents of apathy such as Shri Mohammed Shahid, one of our greatest hockey players," he mentioned in his letter.
"I am writing to you as a concerned sportsperson on behalf of all the sportsperson in our country requesting your kind intervention for inclusion of all sportsperson who have won medals internationally in the list of sportsperson eligible for CGHS facilities," Tendulkar wrote to Modi on October 24, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.
CGHS provides health care to all central government employees via health centers.
"They (Health Ministry) were supportive of the idea but shared their inability to consider wider range of sportsperson under CGHS scheme through their reply dated September 14. I completely appreciate and understand their position basis our original request," Tendulkar wrote.
Tendulkar requested the PM to consider including international medalists on ‘test’ basis.
"Once we analyse the cost/benefits the same can be extended to additional categories of sportspersons in a phased manner, after value of Pilot Programme is assessed by Health Ministry," Sachin wrote in his letter to PM Modi.
Sachin also shared his own experiences, "I have been through several tough injuries where I have felt the pressure of an uncertain comeback. The amount of physical and mental stress that sportsperson goes through is immense. The medical cost creates additional burden on athletes, which in turn acts as a deterrent."