Dhyan Chand: Remembering A Legend On His Birthday

Dhyan Chand (full name: Dhyan Singh) was an Indian hockey player and is known as one of the greatest players to ever play hockey. He was mostly known for his excellence in scoring goals and his three gold medal wins in the Olympics.

Dhyan Chand is often described as a person who dominated field hockey. He was so good at the game that he was given the nickname: The Wizard. Well, yesterday was The Wizard’s birthday and it’s only fair to look back at his inspirational life.

Dhyan Chand was born on August 29th, 1905 in Allahabad in a Rajput family. His father ‘Sameshwar Singh’ was a part of the British Indian Army and he also played the sport of hockey for the army. Dhyan Chand’s family had to move to many places due to his father’s frequent transfers. Due to this, Dhyan had to leave his studies after only six years of schooling.

Finally, his family settled in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and he graduated from Victoria College, Gwalior in the year 1932. On his 17th birthday, he was enlisted in the British Indian Army as a sepoy (private) in the 1st Brahmans. From 1922 to 1926, Dhyan played hockey for the army and regimental games. Eventually, he was selected for the Indian Army Team and the team went on a tour to New Zealand. They won 18 matches, drew 8, and lost only 1.

Why Is He Called Dhyan Chand?

His real name was Dhyan Singh and there’s an interesting story behind him being named Dhyan Chand. Dhyan used to practice a lot at night and often waited for the moon to show up so that he can have some light on the field (floodlights weren’t a thing back then). The moon is called ‘Chand’ in Hindi and his teammates started to call him ‘Chand’ due to this reason. Later, this became famous and people started calling him Dhyan Chand.

Dhyan Chand had what you could call a decorated career and an inspirational life. Being an Indian at the time of the British rule was a challenge in itself and Major Dhyan Chand made a name for himself and for the country at a time like that. Dhyan Chand won three gold medals in three consecutive Olympics, 1928, 1932, and 1936 which is truly remarkable. And to show that he is the greatest field hockey player of all time here’s his goal score: 570 goals in 185 matches (mentioned in his autobiography titled ‘Goal’).

Dhyan Chand made his presence felt not only in India but all over the world. It is said that he was offered a senior post in the German Army by Adolf Hitler after team India beat Germany 8-1 in the 1936 Olympics final, however, he refused. This shows that not only he was a great player, but also a true patriot. He was given the nicknames ‘The Wizard’ and ‘The Magician’ due to the way he handled the ball with his hockey stick.

There’s a saying “Lead By Example” and there are very few people whose lives reflect this saying. Dhyan Chand was surely one of those people. After the Independence of India in 1947, he was awarded the country’s third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan in 1956. Moreover, his birthday (August 29th) is celebrated as the National Sports Day in India. The mark he left on India and sports is something that is hard to even match, let alone compete with.

Dhyan Chand’s life teaches us all to be determined and motivated with a zeal to achieve something even in the harshest of times. We can truly learn a lot from the late great Major Dhyan Chand.

He said, “When I die, India will not shed a tear for me”. Unfortunately, Dhyan Chand passed away on December 3rd, 1979 due to Liver Cancer. He went to the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences for his treatment, however, he was living on a pension of Rs. 200 and was placed in the general ward because no one recognised him. Well, in a way Dhyan Chand predicted what was about to happen.

It’s sad that such a great and inspirational man who most probably is a role model for a lot of sportspeople met such a sad end. R.I.P and Happy Birthday Major Dhyam ‘Wizard’ Chand.

Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below