Almost all of us would have realized that India had an Ice Hockey team sometime last month. That is when they cried out for funding through Twitter so that they could make it to the Challenge Cup of Asia Division 1 in Kuwait. The usual questions started to swirl around. Since when did we have an ice hockey team? Are they professional sportsmen? Why spend money on a sport which is not even remotely popular in India? But then, something gave way.
The #ISupportIceHockey hashtag became a trend on Twitter as personalities like Anand Mahindra, Gautam Gambhir, the CEO of Micromax and others chipped in. More than 285 donors from over 52 cities came together to fund their trip to this tournament. #ChakDeBarfPe became a clarion call. The team is made of mostly policemen from the Indo-Tibetan Border police, a few servicemen and civilians. Ice Hockey is quite popular in Shimla and Ladakh. But it suffers from basic problems like lack of availability of protective gear, pucks etc. The only international level rink in India which is situated in Dehradun has been lying closed since 2012.