Remember these Titans: Indian athletes on cop duty amid lockdown
By: PTI | New Delhi |

Updated: March 27, 2020 5:02:31 pm

Joginder Sharma, who bowled the historic final over in T20 World Cup 2007 ultimate, is now a police officer in Haryana. (File Photo/AP)

They had been on the forefront of pursuing glory for the nation as athletes and now some Indian sporting heroes are enjoying a key position within the raging battle in opposition to the COVID-19 pandemic — manning the streets as law enforcement officials persuading people to stay home amid a national lockdown.

T20 World Cup-winning cricketer Joginder Sharma, Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning boxer Akhil Kumar and Asian Games champion kabaddi participant Ajay Thakur have one factor in frequent. They are all full-time law enforcement officials, jobs which they acquired due to their sporting accomplishments.

Speaking to PTI, Sharma and Kumar, each Haryana Police officers and good associates, listed the challenges that include “doing duty” throughout an unprecedented disaster.

“I have been a DSP since 2007. This is one of a kind challenge for me as a police officer because of the general fear and I can tell you that I have seen quite a few challenges in my years of service,” mentioned Sharma, the all-rounder who immortalised himself with the trophy-winning final over in opposition to Pakistan within the 2007 T20 World Cup summit conflict in South Africa.

The 36-year-old is at present posted in Hisar because the nation observes a 21-day lockdown until April 14 to fight the pandemic, which has killed greater than 24,000 globally.

“Our duty time starts around 6am and we do patrolling, making people aware, send those who are out for fun to their homes, help those in need of essentials or medical aid and take action against those who try to defy without any good reason,” Sharma mentioned giving a rundown of his common day.

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Serving with the Gurugram Police as ACP since September final 12 months is Kumar, the flamboyant bantamweight boxer, whose perilously low guard on the peak of his profession turned the fashion assertion that many in Indian boxing proceed to try to emulate.

“People are generally cooperative and in any case, essential services are being kept open so there is not much panic. I believe only a strict enforcement of lockdown will be able to halt this virus. People are slowly understanding this,” mentioned the 2006 CWG gold-medallist, who turned 38 on Friday, a working birthday for him.

The two-time Olympian and Arjuna awardee has additionally been pooling cash together with his colleagues, together with one other boxer-turned-policeman Jitender Kumar, to purchase important meals gadgets and sanitizers for the underprivileged.

Jitender, an Asian bronze-medallist, is posted in Rewari.

“We are trying our best. Those who can afford to stay inside can and must but there are those who cannot. Our effort is to ensure that we reach out to as many of such people as possible,” Kumar mentioned.

“Hum zameen se jude hain, humein pata hai bhookh kya hoti hai (We are people who have come up after lot of struggle, we know what it means to be hungry),” he added.

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Thakur, who was bestowed the Arjuna award and the Padma Shri final 12 months, is a DSP in Himachal Pradesh Police and has been in service since 2017.

The 2014 Asian Games gold-medallist was lately seen patrolling the streets of Bilaspur and has been elevating consciousness concerning the well being disaster by way of video messages on his instagram web page, which has over two lakh followers.

While being on guard for others, these males in uniform even have to make sure that they continue to be secure themselves.

“…we carry masks, gloves and sanitizers for our own protection but for us the best protection is if people don’t come out on streets unnecessarily,” mentioned Sharma.

“My family is in Rohtak, they are always worried for me. My wife and children call me all the time and talk about taking precautions. I salute my wife for managing the house at this time while I am here doing my duty,” he added.

Sharma mentioned he has been in Hisar for a couple of years now and his standing of being a World Cup-winner is useful whereas counselling folks.

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“They respect me for my achievement and sometimes it helps my work when they see my nameplate. When I tell people to not crowd markets for cheap deals, they adhere. I tell them how costly it would be if they catch this infection, that they should not risk a deadly disease for saving a few bucks,” mentioned the previous all-rounder.

Kumar, on the opposite hand, favoured robust motion in opposition to wilful violators.

“There are some who genuinely don’t know but there are others who come out despite knowing what it means. I think they should be dealt with sternly, that’s the only language they understand,” he asserted.

Sharma mentioned most of such wilful violators are children, complaining of boredom.

“I reach out to their parents. That’s the best way to make them understand because they are a little unaware of the gravity of the situation,” he mentioned.

Being sportspersons, classes in endurance have been learnt aplenty and that helps them cope with the “frustrations”.

“Sewa, Suraksha aur Sahyog (service, security and cooperation) is our force’s motto. We are trying to deliver all,” mentioned Kumar.

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