New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting via video conference with 40 elite sportspersons of the country including Indian captain Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Mary Kom on the ongoing situation in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time that the PM has interacted with sports personalities since the 21-day lockdown was enforced on March 24 to contain the spread of the virus.
The other prominent people included Women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal, ace badminton player PV Sindhu, Kabaddi player and DSP in Himanchal Pradesh Police Ajay Thakur, sprinter Hima Das, para athlete high jumper Sharad Kumar, top tennis player Ankita Raina, and eminent cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
“Interacted with sportspersons via video conferencing on the situation arising due to COVID-19. Sports requires self-discipline, tenacity, teamwork and a fighting spirit. These are also required to defeat Coronavirus,” PM Modi tweeted.
“From sharing videos that reaffirm the importance of fitness, helping the poor and needy, emphasising on social distancing as well as contributing to efforts such as PM-CARES, our sportspersons are doing excellent towards making India free from COVID-19,” he added in another tweet.
From sharing videos that reaffirm the importance of fitness, helping the poor and needy, emphasising on social distancing as well as contributing to efforts such as PM-CARES, our sportspersons are doing excellent towards making India free from COVID-19.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 3, 2020
Prime Minister praised the sportspersons for bringing glory to the nation through stellar performances on the field. Now they have a very important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation as well as spreading the message of social distancing along with asking people to continuously follow advisories given during lockdown. He underlined that the traits learnt in sports training viz the ability to face challenges, self-discipline, positivity and self-belief are the essential tools to combat the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister asked them to include the following five points in their message to people: ‘sankalp’ to fight the pandemic, ‘sanyam’ to follow social distancing, ‘sakaratmakta’ to maintain positivity, ‘samman’ to respect the frontline soldiers in this battle including the medical fraternity, the police personnel etc and ‘sahyog’ at personal level as well as at national level through contribution to PM-CARES fund. He also asked them to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularize guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.
The sportspersons praised the leadership of the Prime Minister in this challenging time. They also thanked him for ensuring that the frontline health care workers and police personnel involved in this battle get the respect they truly deserve for their selfless service. They talked about the importance of discipline, mental strength, following a fitness regimen and taking steps to boost immunity.