Hakam Bhattal, an Asian Games gold medallist and the recipient of the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award, is currently battling against kidney and liver ailments and has not received any attention from the government, let alone support.
Admitted at a private hospital in Punjab's Sangrur, and with his pension being a measly seven thousand a month, Bhattal needs some support from the government in order to avail better healthcare.
Speaking to ANI, his wife said that the government does not care much for athletes, caring for them only for as long as they win medals.
"How will people be encouraged to take up sports if no one even comes to check on an athlete who has won two gold medals for the country? We are not wealthy and do not have any land. It is difficult to get good medical care," said Bhattal's wife.
A gold medal winner in the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok, and the 1979 Asian Track and Field Championships in Tokyo, Bhattal was also awarded the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games by then President Pratibha Patil in August 2008.