May 8, 2010

A touching story of Merzban Patel

This article is taken from Hindustan Times
After years of giving, hockey coach gets his due

Friday was an emotional day for hockey coach Merzban Patel. Having trained several underprivileged children, some of whom have represented India in the Olympic hockey games, the coach was rewarded for his 35 years of service.

Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co-operative Limited presented Patel with a cash prize (amount withheld on request) in recognition of his dedication.

The company’s attention was drawn to Patel’s work when they read an article about him in the Hindustan Times’ edition dated March 14.

“After reading the article, we got interested in him. We met him, and talked in detail about his work and his future plans, and we felt he seemed genuine,” said Nariman Bacha, senior manager, administration at the company.

Patel, who earns Rs 6,000 per month as the hockey coach at two south Mumbai schools, paid for the equipment and nutrition of the underprivileged boys he trained.

The Godrej employees collected money and sent it to Patel and also bought him his first mobile phone. On Friday, the company presented Patel with a cheque for an additional amount sanctioned by the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation. “It’s like a dream,” said Patel. “It’s a very rare thing for people not involved in hockey to come forward and help a hockey coach.”

He said his dream for the past 40 years has been to set up a residential hockey academy, which would take care of the childrens education, diet and sports training.

“It’s been a long and unfulfilled dream. It won’t come true immediately, because hockey has become such an expensive sport, and these boys come from very poor backgrounds,” said Patel. “If not this year, maybe next year or it may even take five years. Who knows?”

I am really thankful to Pirojsha Godrej Foundation who has helped this great man, I hope his dream of starting an academy to groom players turns into reality and thus we have great hockey players. I would like to know if there are any possible ways to help him. If any one living in Mumbai can contact him, then we might be able to help him


  1. This is Nice... Years of Hardwork finally paid off... I've noticed one thing... The Times Of India dosent cover all these Hockey article.. Its Only Hindustan Times.. Kudos HT

  2. thanks to HT and Godrej...great articles buddy :)

  3. there are very few media section who really likes to cover HOCKEY. Because they think there are not many people who likes news about HOCKEY. that's is where our blog comes in to picture .get good no's fo people in our blog and then demand from MEDIA to cover hockey news..can we write to HT FOR This article..?as token of thanks..please if anybody have HT sports editor mail id or something. Give me ..?