Kolkata: When the just-crowned Hockey Junior World Cup champions meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next Wednesday, on the top of their agenda will be seeking jobs which they feel their state government and their clubs have failed to provide.
Gurjant Singh, who scored in the final against Belgium which India won 2-1 to clinch the trophy after 15 years, told IANS: “We need security. The Punjab government (his state government) should provide us with jobs. When we meet the Prime Minister on December 28 we will be taking up the issue with him.”
Gurjant, who is playing for ONGC in the ongoing 121st All India Beighton Cup is one of the five players the PSU has in their ranks from the World Cup winning team.
“We have got Rs 25 lakh each from the Punjab government which is great. But we need security which a job can provide. We have just won the World Cup and our aim is to win a medal in the 2018 senior World Cup,” Simranjeet Singh, another scorer in the final, said.
Gurjant added: “We need some security as if we pick up an injury here today (in the Beighton Cup) who will take care of us? We are jobless.”
Retorting to the players’ plea, ONGC coach Sandeep Sangwan said, “We are looking into it (trying to get job for players). At ONGC, we have certain policies and at the moment we have three vacancies. We are thinking of giving them jobs.”
On the historic World Cup win, Vikramjeet Singh, another member of the team, said beating Australia in the semi-finals was the toughest.
“We had the belief in us that we can reach the final. The semi-final against Australia was our toughest test.”
India edged past powerhouse Australia 4-2 via penalty shoot-out to enter the final.
“Life has changed after winning the World Cup. When I scored the first goal it was like the roof came down in Lucknow,” Gurjant said.
Most of the players who lifted the trophy hail from Gurdaspur district in Punjab.
Gurjant pointed out that the members of the team that won the junior World Cup in 2001, were rewarded with all the benefits.
“During their time, the players were very well treated and most of them got jobs as police officers and so on. We expect some support for all fraternities as well,” Gurjant said.