The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra has received an appeal to provide help to former cyclist Swaraj Singh. The 70-year-old represented India at the 1970 Asian Games but has now fallen to harder times and works as a security guard in Jamshedpur.
"I write this with deep anguish as I came to know the pathetic condition of International Cyclist and National Champion Swaran Singh of Tata Steel, Jamshedpur who is living in utter penury and forced to work as Security Guard at an Apartment Block in Baridih, Jamshedpur," said the appeal, which came from an anonymous sender.
"He is unable to look after his daughter suffering from bone TB. His wife is taking care of his suffering daughter and Swaran Singh is living alone in a rented room, cooking his food himself for which he opted for night shift. I contacted the officials in the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, New Delhi who were prompt to assure financial help to Swaran Singh. Since he had not won any international medal, he is not eligible for the pension.
"The officials of Tata Steel, Jamshedpur were also prompt to assure to look into his case as Swaran Singh served Tata Steel Sports Dept for 24 years and took voluntary retirement in 1994. His son's name is registered for employment in Tata Steel. Officials of Tata Steel have been requested to provide employment to Swaran Singh's son who is working as driver in New Delhi.
"I appeal to IOA and Cycling Federation of India to provide financial help to Swaran Singh so that he can rejoin his family and to write to Tata Steel, Jamshedpur to provide employment to his son and allot him Company's quarter on compassionate ground so that Swaran Singh lives peacefully with his family."
Swaran Singh's plight was reported by The Telegraph on Wednesday. According to the report, he said that he earns a salary of Rs 10,000, of which Rs 2,500 is paid as rent.