NEW DELHI, April 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday turned to India�s sporting heroes for support in the herculean battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 40 accomplished champions such as Virat Kohli, PV Sindhu responded by vowing to raise awareness and spirits amid a national lockdown.
The athletes, along with sports minister Kiren Rijiju, participated in nearly an hour-long video call which started at 11 am. The country is in a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
From Sachin Tendulkar stressing on the need to keep the vigil even after the lockdown ends on April 14, to sprinter Hima Das expressing sadness at the recent attacks on frontline warriors such as health care workers and police officers, to others sharing their experience of being in a lockdown, the sportspersons had lots to offer during the interaction. All these athletes have been generous donors to the funds being raised to fight the crisis.
The Prime Minister, on his part, sought their support to raise awareness about the need for social distancing and personal hygiene at a time when the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in India has crossed 2,000.
�Your suggestions will be taken note of. We are fighting this pandemic like Team India. I am confident that India will be rejuvenated by the inspiration provided by you,� the Prime Minister can be seen telling athletes in a clip shared by shuttler B Sai Praneeth, a world championship bronze-medallist, who also attended the call.
All sporting activities are currently shut in the country and it is still not clear when normalcy will resume. The much-anticipated Indian Premier League is among the big-ticket Indian events suspended till April 15.
When Ganguly was asked about the development this morning, he said, �Yes, I will be joining our Honourable PM via video call.� But he refused to go into the details.
Cricketers formed a major chunk of the participating list.
Apart from Tendulkar, Ganguly and Kohli, others in the call included top batsman Rohit Sharma, former pacer Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh. � PTI