1975 Hockey World winner Ashok Diwan has written to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra to help him return home from USA where he’s stuck amid worsening health. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 1.6 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Above 4,600; Shah Speaks to CMs Over Lockdown Extension | Key Points
The 65-year-old Diwan, in a letter to Batra, has pleaded with him to take his matter with the higher authorities in India to expedite his return to the country as has developed health issues. Also Read - COVID-19 Crisis: ECB Delays Start of Domestic Season Till August But Windies Series in July Likely to go Ahead
“I need your help as I am stuck in USA and have developed some health problems,” the Olympian wrote. “I had to attend hospital in emergency last week in California. I am not feeling well these days, moreover doesn’t have insurance here. The medical costs are very high here.” Also Read - Amit Shah Speaks to Chief Ministers of All States, UTs; Seeks Opinion on Lockdown Extension
“Originally, I was supposed to fly back on 20th April by Air India but due to the ongoing epidemic situation my travel dates have been pushed back,” he added.
The rising medical costs and absence of medical insurance have only added to his worries.
“I request a favour for forwarding this message to Honourable Sports Minister and External Affairs Minister for helping me with a hospital for my check up or if they can arrange earlier departure from San Francisco to India. Kindly, treat this urgent as I am really in bad health here,” he wrote.
Diwan, who also was part of India’s 1976 Olympic contingent, flew to Sacremento last December last year to spend time with his son, who is works there. However, his plans went awry with the coronavirus pandemic forcing worldwide lockdown leading to travel restrictions.
Diwan’s daughter Arushi said her father had to be rushed to an emergency facility after suddenly falling sick which later turned out to be a hear ailment.
“My father went to the US in December and was scheduled to return on April 20. He went alone to meet my brother, who is unmarried and working there. But suddenly he fell sick and had to rush to an emergency facility there after complaining of high blood pressure and anxiety,” Arushi said.
She continued, “Through medical tests, conducted there, it came to light that he has heart problem. The system is different is the US and right now it is very strict because of the situation there. The doctor gave him a month’s medicine but it is not helping him.”
“Moreover, he forgot to get his medical insurance this time. The check up approximately cost him USD 700, so you can imagine how costly medical treatment is in the US. He is now anxious and is desperate to comeback home at the earliest,” she added.
Situation is getting worse in USA with more cases of infection being reported daily. “We are feeling really helpless. My brother is alone with Papa there but the situation is critical in US, far worse than India. So, we decided to approach Batra (Narinder Batra) uncle. Hope, the government will step in and help us,” Arushi said.
In USA, over 432,000 people have been reported to be infected by the deadly virus including more than 14,800 deaths.