Get-hooked March 11, 2020
Denied pension for 2 years, help in sight for disabled football expert Novy Kapadia
Friends and fans of eminent sports commentator Novy Kapadia have rallied around to support him. Kapadia, who is also a retired Delhi University professor, has not received his pension benefits for almost two years. Partially disabled due to an autoimmune disorder, Kapadia is struggling to make ends meet.
For decades Novy Kapadia captivated sports fans with his clear and expert commentary on Indian football. He was a familiar presence on all TV channels during football matches and impressed everyone with his familiarity with Indian football history and statistics.
Kapadia forced to depend on others for help
For the last two months, 67-year-old Kapadia has been confined to his rented home in West Delhi as he is partially disabled due to an autoimmune disorder. To make matters worse, Kapadia has not received his pension benefits from the Delhi University (DU) where he taught for over 40 years. He has been forced to depend on former students for help.
I had some problems in finding my balance. I thought it was an age-related problem but last November, my feet buckled, and I fell down. My doctor called it a weakness of the motor neurone on the right side and I am not able to stand straight or walk without assistance. I need to have two medical helpers now through the day but all this costs money – food, physiotherapy and help. My expenses are going up, but income is practically negligible. – Novy Kapadia, Football expert
Kapadia has moved court along with the other retired DU professors who have been denied pension benefits. “We got relief in the Delhi High Court, but the decision was challenged in the Supreme Court. This is all basically a bureaucratic hold up. I have a medical emergency and some inflow of money for my expenses would help”.
Appeal to Sports Ministry
Moved by Kapadia’s plight, former football players and fans have come forward in support. Walter Pereira, a former national-level football player and FIFA referee, started a WhatsApp group to raise funds. Over 50 people have joined the group.
“I know Novy from his days as a football commentator and he has helped people learn so much about the game”, says Pereira. “He knows every single detail about referees and footballers and has played a major role in motivating people. He has done so much for Indian football”.
The group has raised about ₹ 6 lakh so far and they are confident of more support. There is also talk of organising a football match to raise funds.
“I feel really feel bad for Novy”, says Shabbir Ali, former captain of the Indian football team and a Dhyan Chand Awardee. Ali knows Novy for over 45 years. “Most footballers know of him He was a junior-level player and a reporter and commentator after that. We have done commentary together. I hope the Sports Ministry will do something for Novy”.
Much support has also come in for Kapadia on social media with many people urging the DU to look into the matter urgently. Voices that authorities will hopefully heed to.
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