Kerala too joined the bandwagon of offering free petrol and even shirts to those sharing the name of Tokyo Olympics heroes. This time it is the bronze medal-winning Indian men’s hockey team’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who is the most sought after and hails from Kizhakkambalam in Ernakulam district.
A petrol pump owner in the state capital and a men’s wear shop owner in Cherthala, a 45-minute drive from Kochi, wanted to celebrate India’s first medal in hockey after the 1980 Moscow Games in a different way.
On Wednesday evening, siblings Meenakshi and Soorya, after getting permission from their father T Suresh Kumar, posted on Facebook about the free petrol offer to all those sharing Sreejesh’s name.
While Pradeep Kumar K D, owner of KL-32 gent’s wear shop, too posted offering a shirt of their choice.
“I might have attended at least 100 calls and 15 have availed the offer in the past 24 hours. I intend to keep this alive for a couple of days more but my offer is restricted to those residing in Cherthala municipality area,” Pradeep told indianexpress.com from Cherthala.
“I liked the way he (the owner) celebrated India’s Olympic win. I picked one shirt to my liking and there were no restrictions. I’m really happy it is worth Rs 1000,” said Sreejesh S (19), a resident of Mayithara, and an IIT student.
“Initially I was taken aback by the number of calls I was forced to attend since Wednesday evening. It was a sleepless night for me. Callers wanted to know whether the offer was genuine! But I’m happy with the way it turned out on Thursday. Look at the media – TV cameras and media photographers – and onlookers have created a buzz here,” said Suresh from his petrol pump office in Kanjirampara on the way to National Games Shooting Range in Vattiyoorkavu.
“My children followed the Olympics like hell. So when they came with the idea I gave my thumbs up,” Suresh told indianexpress.com on Thursday afternoon.
Drivers with the name of ‘Sreejesh’ are allowed to fill petrol worth Rs 101 per week after producing their Aadhaar card or driving licence or voter’s identification card and the offer is valid till August 31.
In Tamil Nadu, a petrol pump at Tirumanilaiyur village in Karur district offered free fuel to people named Neeraj and Sindhu to celebrate Olympic medallists from Wednesday to Friday.
Ayub Pathan, a petrol pump owner of Netrang town in Bharuch district, Gujarat had also offered free fuel to Neeraj’s namesakes. The Girnarropeway service management in Junagadh also announced that people with the name ‘Neeraj’ can enjoy a free ropeway ride till August 20.