Balvir Chand, who is identified as Sachin Tendulkar's doppelganger, tested positive for the deadly coronavirus after losing his job during the lockdown.
Chand has been a regular on Indian television as Tendulkar's double in many advertisements. He was then employed as the brand ambassador of a Mumbai fast food chain. But due to a heavy toll on the businesses during the lockdown, Chand's employers had to let him go, including many other staffers. Following his unemployment, Chand returned to his hometown in Punjab just where he found out that he had contracted the coronavirus.
“They (Goli Vada Pav No 1, Chand’s employers) lost business after the lockdown and let go of a lot of staff. I too was asked to leave; they said they would hire me back when things improve,” Chand was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Chand, and his family members were shifted to the hospital after they tested positive for the virus on June 10.
Chand rose to fame when Sunil Gavaskar invited him to the commentary box during a Test match in 1999. “Later, they took me to Taj hotel to meet Sachin ji. I asked for autographs on six photos I had carried. He was busy signing them when I told him ‘these are my photos, not yours’. He was startled, looked at me and smiled,” recalled Chand.
The 50-year-old has appeared in advertisements for brands like MRF, Reynolds, Toshiba and many more.
“Sachin ji’s face has given me lot of shahurat (fame), not so much daulat (riches). But I can write, compose songs; I will try to use my own talent. Hopefully, jobs will be back and people will find value in my freaky appearance again,” he said on Wednesday.