The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have thrown their full weight to supporting the nation in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the past few days we got suggestions that IOA should also contribute towards humanity in these times of global crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said in a release.
“Your esteemed federations/state Olympic associations are following closely the norms and instructions issued by Government of India, the World Health Organisation and other world organisations involved in managing this crisis,” it added.
The release stressed the need to follow directives given by concerned bodies and encouraged self-isolation.
“This is just the beginning of our war against the pandemic, we aren’t aware how things will shape up in future, what all new challenges we all have to face.
“We assure you all, IOA will come forward and reach out to you and will work as per protocols and norms set by the government, WHO, Unicef and concerned bodies. In the meantime, we have to follow self-isolation,” the IOA said.
The IOA also pledged their support to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of financial means on Monday.
The statement posted on the IOA’s Twitter page expressed gratitude to ‘all frontline workers’ and said that several member national federations and state affiliates will also aid the cause.
"Our Olympic family is in this together and we shall come out stronger to serve sports and make our nation proud," said IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta.
Indian athletes pledge their support
Numerous sports personalities from India like Hima Das and sports minister Kiren Rijiju had already pledged their support.
Shooter Manu Bhaker – the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup – also did her bit by contributing to the relief fund in her home state Haryana.
India’s top male table tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was another eminent sports personality to show his solidarity.
Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom also expressed her support in a letter to the bank where her salary account is maintained.
“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wish to donate my one month’s salary to the PM National Relief Fund. So, please debit an amount of Rs 1,00,000 from my account,” the letter read.
Last week, the likes of Bajrang Punia, PV Sindhu and Sania Mirza had already announced that they would donate to raise funds for daily wage workers left jobless after India’s 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and affected more than half a million people globally.