ATK's Prabir Das is winning hearts, both on and off the field

Having missed the entirety of last season with an injury, ATK FC’s Prabir Das has hit the ground running in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20, producing one stellar performance after another, earning widespread plaudits from fans and pundits alike. The good work, however, hasn't been restricted to the field of play. Off it too, the 26-year-old has been in the news lately for coming forward and extending a helping arm to aid an ailing 7-year-old football fan.

According to reports, Abhijit Guha from Belur, West Bengal, had been suffering from acute pneumonia which, in turn, led to multiple organ failure. With treatment costs piling up, Abhijit's family opted to appeal for help through a social media post. Having seen the appeal, Prabir came forward to extend financial assistance and even visited young Abhijit at the hospital.

The warm gesture from the footballer instantly struck a chord with fans all over, who have been lauding the ATK man for his actions. Asked about the sequence of events, Prabir noted, "The praise about this is not important for me. What is most important that I have been able to be of some assistance to the child. I came to know about Abhijit’s case on social media. I came to know that he was suffering from a serious kidney ailment and his family was extremely weak financially. When I saw the post I felt that I needed to stand by this family in distress in any way I could. So I went to the hospital where the child was being treated, spoke to his family and did whatever little I could do to stand by the child and his family at the time of need."

"As a human being, you feel proud when you stand by people in need. When I read about him on social media, I spoke to my mother about this and she also wanted me to help them out in whatever way I could. Not everyone is in a position to help others even if they want to. Fortunately, I am in a position where I could help out. Both my family and I are really happy that I was able to do this. If more people come forward to help out in their own little way in such situations, I think things could get a little easier for the families in distress," he added.

Despite his refusal to take any credit, Prabir's action has been hailed as a fine example of the bond shared between footballers and fans in the realm of the beautiful game. "We play for the fans. We footballers exist because of the fans. I am just glad and proud that I got the chance to be of help to Abhijit. And it is not even about being a football fan. Had he not been a football fan, even then I would have definitely helped him if I felt that the family was under financial duress and needed support for treatment. But it feels good, a young football fan who has his whole future in front of him, if my effort is of some help to him, I will feel really good," the wing-back opined.

“If more players and people connected with football come forward to help in such cases, many problems might be solved,” he concluded, issuing a heartfelt appeal to the football fraternity as a whole.

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