Hyderabad: Sathyan's reasons to take the extreme step may have been different. But do we as a country tend to forget our heroes once they are out of the limelight, even those who have risen to lead the country. India's best-known hockey players and former caption, Mukesh Kumar, is struggling to get an academy started. Mukesh Kumar says he has been knocking corporate doors every other day to get funds for his dream project, a hockey academy in Hyderabad. Mukesh was allotted five acres by the Andhra Pradesh government but he has to pay at the market rate of Rs 5 lakh per acre. The former India captain says, even if he sells his house, he will still be Rs 10 lakh short. "A lot of corporates that I have met have expressed their willingness to contribute Rs 10 lakh or more, but they all want instant mileage," Mukesh said. Instant mileage is something Mukesh cannot promise because the 20 young players he plans to coach will take time to blossom. Mukesh had hoped to start coaching in December 2007. But that is a more difficult ball game. The government said Mukesh is yet to contact them for any help he needs. "As far as Mukesh is concerned, the government has given him land for his academy and any financial assistance that he would need we are willing to provide but so far he has not approached us," said Kamala Vardhan Rao, MD, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh. The government has also set up a corpus of Rs 25 lakh to help former players. Mukesh can now hope he is one of them.
Topics : Hockey