Yash Raj Films Comes Forward to Help Women Hockey Players

Bhopal, Jan 27 (IANS) Yash Raj Films, producer of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Chak De India", have donated Rs.2 lakh for the welfare of women hockey players in India, who are agitating against non-payment of their dues.

Senior player Deepika Murthy received an SMS about the donation from Yash Raj Films Monday, chief coach of the team M.K. Kaushik confirmed Wednesday.

"With this the total balance in the joint account opened by the players in a bank at Bhopal will reach Rs.3,09,000," he said.

Taking a cue from their male counterparts, members of Indian women hockey team had demanded Rs.3 lakh each as incentive for their performance last year.

It all started at the national women's hockey camp in Bhopal almost a week ago when goalkeeper E Rajini's plight came to be known. Her father is suffering a kidney ailment but the family has no money for treatment. They collected Rs.20,000 for his surgery but that was not sufficient to meet the cost of treatment.

"Rajini's hardship gave us the idea of opening a joint account to collect money for the treatment of her father," Murthy said adding that an amount of Rs.1,09,000 has so far been received in the joint account.

Meanwhile, the players have faxed a letter to the central sports ministry requesting it to distribute the money collected equally among the players instead of creating a fund for the welfare of women hockey.

Murthy said that the players need immediate financial assistance and creating a fund out of money collected from various sources following the players' protest would not serve the purpose.

"The central government should create a fund for players' welfare out of its own money, if it is willing to do so, rather than utilising the amount collected by players," she said.

Earlier, the players also rejected Hockey India's (HI) offer of Rs.50,000 each.

The Madhya Pradesh government has also pledged a sum of Rs.1 crore to the national women's hockey team as a reward for their performance last year.



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