Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju with former Indian hockey player Ashok Diwan.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju with former Indian hockey player Ashok Diwan.
Twitter @ KirenRijiju

Former hockey player Ashok Diwan, who is currently stranded in US, has urged the Indian authorities to help him out amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has brought the entire world to a standstill.

Diwan, who represented India at the 1976 Summer Olympics, has written a letter to Narinder Batra, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), asking him for help.

In his letter, the 65-year-old has stated that he had to attend hospital in emergency last week in California after getting diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Diwan said that he was supposed to fly back to India on April 20, but due to the ongoing situation his travel dates have been pushed.

India is currently under a 21-day nationwide lockdown which will end on April 14 due to coronavirus outbreak which has claimed more than 160 lives in the country thus far. Till then, there's also a travel ban in the country, both within and outside.

The Indian government has also made it clear that any decision to allow foreign flights to operate to India can be taken only once the current lockdown period ends on April 14 midnight.

"I am not feeling well these days, moreover I don't have any insurance here. As you know the medical costs are very high here," he wrote.

"I request a favour to forward this message to the Sports Minister and the External Minister for helping me here by instructing Indian Embassy at San Francisco to help me with a hospital for my check-up or if they can arrange earlier departure from San Francisco to India.

"Sir, kindly treat this urgent as I am really in bad health here," Diwan, who was one of the first three Dhyan Chand awardees, added.

However, the lockdown is likely to be extended as most of the state governments across the country have requested for the same to the central government.

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