The former Indian captain Gautam Gambhir has pledged to look after the entire expense of the children of 25 CRPF personnel who were killed in the April 24 Maoist attack in Chattisgarh’s south Sukma region. The ‘Gautam Gambhir Foundation’ has already initiated the process and necessary steps are being taken. “The Gautam Gambhir Foundation will take care of the entire education expenses of the children of these martyrs. My team has already started work on this and I shall soon share the progress we have made,” he wrote in his column for The Hindustan Times.
Gambhir has always openly expressed his concerns about the plight of the nation’s soldiers. Monday’s incident had left the Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain agitated and had stated that an appropriate payback needs to be given in return for the brutal massacre. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Chattisgarh, Kashmir, North East, do v need more alarm bells or r we a deaf state? Life of my countrymen isn’t cheap, someone needs 2 pay 4 it.” On Tuesday Gambhir expressed his concern for the families of the slain CRPF soldiers. “As we crib over lack of air conditioning or size of our already mammoth SUV, let’s ponder over d future of d daughters of CRPF martyrs,” he tweeted. He was deeply moved by the newspaper pictures of the grieving daughters of two martyred CRPF officials. “On Wednesday morning, I picked up newspapers and saw gut-wrenching pictures of the daughters of two CRPF men killed in the latest attacks. One was saluting her martyred father while in the other picture, the howling young woman was being consoled by her relative,” Gambhir wrote to the Hindustan Times. He has taken up the responsibility of the education of their children.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Wednesday match against Rising Pune Supergiant saw the players wearing black arm bands to commemorate the tragic incident. Even though he scored a match winning half-century, Gambhir said that concentrating on the match was a challenge. With this win Kolkata Knight Riders are leading the IPL points table and according to the captain, teamwork and a selfless attitude have helped the team achieve this feat. “It is for the same reasons I love armed forces too, although the quantum of losing a dear one while serving the country can never ever be compared to losing a cricket match,” says Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir has never refrained from voicing his opinions on critical situations. Time and time again his actions have proven that his patriotism is not limited to the field alone.
A few weeks back Gambhir had come out in support of CRPF Jawans in Srinagar who were attacked by the locals during elections in the Kashmir valley. “For every slap on my army’s Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours. #kashmirbelongs2us. Anti-Indians have forgotten that our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror.”
He had also given financial help to Indian boxing legend, Dingko Singh, who had been suffering from bile duct cancer. “We must take care of our champions just as they make us proud,” said his tweet.
In 2015, Gambhir had donated Rs 4 lakh to the Indian Men’s Ice Hockey Team which was lacking in funds. “It’s the last thing to happen for a sportsperson that he cannot represent his country for the lack of funds. It’s the worst thing. After all, they will be called Team India irrespective of the sport they represent,” he had said to the captain Tsewang Gyaltson Gyal. “I felt it is a moral responsibility to support the game of ice hockey, it is a disgrace that in a country like India where sports have so much support these games are neglected. As a sportsman, I believe I should always support smaller games. “
This gesture shown by Gambhir is highly commendable.