Sports in India is a little tricky than the rest of the world. When you are at the top of the world, you will be showered with love and respect from all the corners. But in the country of 1.3 billion people, it doesn’t take long for the same athlete to get lost in the crowd as well. Sometimes, even a player in his/her prime cannot afford training and diet of the highest quality. With that in mind, the Government of India offers its athletes with jobs which they can pursue outside of the sport. While some of these players don’t really need these jobs, a lot of others use the money from their government jobs to get better on the field. Here are Indian athletes and their jobs off-field you didn’t know about:
Lieutenant Colonel, Indian Territorial Army & VP, India Cements
Let us start with the man in the news. MS Dhoni recently informed BCCI that he would not be available for the next few weeks as he will be serving the 106 Territorial Army Battalion (Para) for two weeks. The Indian Territorial Army conferred Dhoni with the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel after he led India to the 2011 World Cup triumph. He has already taken proper training for the same a few years ago and now will be in action.
Along with that, the former Indian captain is also the Vice President of the India Cements, based in Chennai. N.Srinivasan, former chairman of the ICC is company’s managing director. India Cements also owned Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings from 2008 to 2014 but ran into a few legal troubles.
Group Captain, Indian Air Force & Member of Rajya Sabha
Sachin Tendulkar has achieved pretty much everything on the cricket field. But the Master Blaster’s work outside Cricket is also something everyone should be proud of. Back in 2010, the Indian Air Force awarded Sachin the honorary rank of group captain. He became the first athlete to be a part of IAF.
The legendary batsman was also nominated as the member of Rajya Sabha in 2012 and served the term for the entire six years. He became the first active cricketer and sportsperson to be a part of the upper house of the Indian Parliament. During his tenure, Tendulkar donated his entire salary and allowances to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
Lieutenant Colonel, Indian Army
The first captain to lead India to the World Cup glory was also rewarded with an honorary position in 2008. Kapil Dev was conferred with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Army in 2008.
Junior Commissioned Officer, Indian Army
We all know that Milkha Singh was a part of the Indian Army before he started his career in athletics. In fact, the Flying Sikh got his first opportunity through the army. But after his performances on the track, Milkha Singh was promoted from sepoy to JCO in 1958. The legendary sprinter eventually retired as the Director of Sports in the Punjab Ministry of Education in 1998.
Our very own Parthiv Patel might have been in and out of the Indian team throughout his career, but the wicket-keeper batsman has performed well off the field. Patel became the Executive of Reliance in 2004.
DSP, Haryana Police
Who can forget the last over of the 2007 T20 World Cup? And who can forget the man who bowled brilliantly under pressure and helped India to create history? Joginder Sharma might not have been in the limelight since THAT over, but the medium-pacer is serving as the DSP of the Haryana Police. After his heroics in South Africa, the Government of Haryana offered him a job in the Police department, and Sharma has served faithfully for his state.
Lieutenant Colonel, Indian Territorial Army & CEO, Abhinav Futuristics
The first-ever Indian to win the individual Gold medal at the Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was also conferred with the honorary position of the Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Territorial Army. But Bindra has also managed to create a brand of his own, Abhinav Futuristics, which represents various brands related to sports, medical fitness and rehab equipment in India. The Beijing Gold medallist is the CEO of the company.
DSP, Punjab Police
The legendary Indian spinner has always had a swagger around him. (Sometimes, a little too much, eh Sreesanth?) But back in 2001, Harbhajan Singh was awarded the position of the Deputy Superintendent of Police by Punjab Police and has been seen in the uniform every once in a while. Not only that, Bhajji pajji has also acted in a couple of Punjabi Movies (one of which, ironically, goes by the name “Control Bhaji Control”). Recently, everyone also saw (or heard?!) the Turbanator behind the mic, commentating enthusiastically in the ICC World Cup 2019.
Who doesn’t remember Komal Chautala and her rivalry with Preeti Sabarwal for most goals at the World Cup in the famous movie Chak De! India? The actress who played Komal Chautala, Chitrashi Rawat is, in fact, a former hockey player as well. However, since featuring in the Shahrukh Khan-starrer movie, she has gone on to reprise several roles in films (such as Luck) and television soap operas.
DSP, Manipur Police & Member of Rajya Sabha
Six-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Mary Kom is not just the fighter inside the ring. The boxer is in the Manipur Police department and was promoted to the DSP rank back in 2012.
Kom was also nominated as the member of the Rajya Sabha in 2016. In 2017, she was appointed as National Observes for Boxing by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
VP, India Cements
The Wall of the Indian Cricket team is famous for his post-retirement activities as the coach of India U19 and India A side. However, Rahul Dravid is also one of the Vice Presidents of India Cement along with MS Dhoni.
Senior Manager, India Cements
We all know that Ravi Ashwin is a talented bloke on and off the field. After all, the spinner is graduated with B. Tech in Information Technology. But apart from that, Ashwin is also a senior manager at the India Cements.
13Umesh Yadav & KL Rahul
Assistant Manager, Reserve Bank of India
The Indian speedster dreamt of getting into the Police force before he turned his attention to cricket. Yadav just missed the constable post almost a decade ago, but his performances on the cricket field have helped him get a job in one of the most estimated organisations in India. He is currently the assistant manager at the Reserve Bank of India.
KL Rahul is also the assistant manager along with Umesh Yadav. Both cricketers recently featured in the RBI advertisement spreading awareness about banking.
Inspector, Income Tax Department
Yuzi Chahal has represented India in Chess at the World Youth Chess Championship before getting into Cricket. So even off the field, the leggie has always been a talented chap. He is Inspector in the Income Tax Department.
DSP, Haryana Police
Geeta Phogat became the first Indian female wrestler to win the Gold medal. She achieved this feat with her Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As a result, the Haryana Police bestowed her with the post of DSP.
DSP, Haryana Police & Actor
The first-ever Indian boxer to win the medal at the Olympics, Vijender Singh has gone on to try several things outside the ring. After his heroics in Beijing, Haryana Police awarded him the post of DSP in the department. Along with that Singh has also been in front of the camera, featuring in the movie Fugly, released in 2014. The boxer is currently enjoying success in professional boxing with the record of 11-0.
DSP, Punjab Police
The captain of the Indian T20 women’s side and an explosive middle-order batsman, Harmanpreet Kaur is a pride of Punjab. And she earned the prestigious job of DSP, Punjab Police for her on-field heroics.
Sub Inspector, Haryana Police
Geeta’s sister and two-time Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, Babita Phogat is a part of Haryana Police department as the sub-inspector.
Manager, India Cements
Indian wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik is also the manager of India Cements.