Former India defender J Mohan Kumar who was a star defender for ITI and also has been capped by the Indian team is now earning his living as a watchman at Mount Carmel College building in Bangalore. This incident has further dwelled deeply into the apathy shown by a nation of over a billion people to the game of football.
A story by Bangalore Mirror reveals the story of J Mohan Kumar who served Indian football brilliantly for 30 years but as soon as his legs gave way, was left into the obscurity. He played his entire footballing career as a player for Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). After retiring from the game, he took up the job as a coach of Garden City College Football team but had to leave after a difference of opinion. Unable to find proper work, he had to take up odd jobs and eventually wound up as a watchman at Mount Carmel College.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Mohan Kumar said, “One of my friends worked as a driver here. I asked him if there was a vacancy for me and he told me of the opening for a guard. He did ask me if it’s something I would do considering I am a footballer who has won many laurels. I told him it’s difficult if I do nothing. Here, I have to check for ID cards and ensure there is no trouble. Since this is a girls’ college, my job is to keep the women inside safe. I don’t look at it as something that is beyond my dignity. It’s still a job and I enjoy it.”
Asked why he took up the job, Mohan says, “I became restless at home. I just couldn’t sit doing nothing and living without earning a penny. I took up this job without hesitation as it would help me feed my family. Things are starting to look up again. I greet all people here with a smile.”
There have been too many Indian sportspersons who have been ignored by the country and hopefully, Kumar’s story will set an example on why sportspersons need to be treated with more respect.