SHAILAJA GANGULY chronicles the unusual story of the Indian Women’s Junior Hockey team’s goalkeeper, Khushboo Khan, whose family lived in shanty in Bhopal, till Good Samaritan Shiva Gulvady decided to gift her a pucca house

This is the story of a young girl who bagged silver in the third Youth Olympic Games in 2018, at Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the same girl who honed her goal-keeping skills by pitting herself against male players in her hometown in Bhopal.

This girl has repeatedly guarded the net for the women’s hockey team since 2017 at Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Belarus Ireland…and yet, this girl continues to live in a shanty at Bhopal with her family despite such a spectacular career in sports.

Yes, isn’t this rather sad, but yet, this is the true story of Khushboo Khan, the very much in-demand goalie of the Indian Women’s Junior Hockey Team!

So, why is she living in such appalling surroundings?

Shailaja Ganguly

This was true till a dilwaala Samaritan from Navi Mumbai, in Mumbai read this horror story and decided not to wait for anyone else to rise to the occasion, but to take action himself. He gifted this deserving Supergirl, a three-bedroom flat valued at Rs 36 lakhs and into this ‘pucca haven’, the Khans will move in, shortly.

The sportstar’s family is overwhelmed, naturally, about this generous gesture of someone they now call “Shiva Sir”.

Here’s what this humble, golden-hearted Santa ― Shiva Gulvady, a chemical engineer from Banaras Hindu University says, waving off the praise with a dismissive gesture of his hands: “A long time ago, my father had received similar assistance which enabled him to pursue medicine and become a doctor…. I felt it was my humble duty to ensure the cycle continued.” There is only one word for this gesture ― and that is Bravo!

Shiva Gulvady

He adds that he read about Khushboo’s condition in The Times of India when they ran a feature on her home, a hut with a tin roof which keeps neither wind, rain, sun or the cold away. He said that he was touched by the report and decided to help. “Now she can focus solely on her game,” he added.

Khushboo on her part says, “In all these years, officials’ promises of helping us get a pucca house never turned into a reality,” Till Shiva Sir came along…..

If only each one of us feels responsible enough and learns to give back in gratitude for all the blessings one receives, the phrase ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbakam…meaning, all human beings are part of this ‘Earth family’ can and will become a blissful, living reality!

When we think of everyone as part of one big family, then man-made walls between people of different religions and social groups just melts away and we become one in spirit and soul.

Shailaja Ganguly is a journalist, writer, voiceover artiste, anchor for classical music and dance by India’s best, and a fitness fiend who loves children, yoga and food. She is the recipient of the award for excellence in journalism from the Kanara Saraswat Union, and the Woman Icon of Navi Mumbai Award from the Smiles Foundation, an Economic Times prizewinning NGO. She lives in Mumbai.