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New Delhi, April 4, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that sportspersons, who have brought glory to the nation, had an important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation and spreading positivity in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Interacting with eminent sportspersons via video conference, the Prime Minister said COVID-19 was an adversary of the entire humanity and the gravity of the situation can be ascertained from the fact that for the first time since World War II, the Olympic Games have been postponed.
Several other prominent international sporting events like Wimbledon and domestic sporting events like Indian Premier League for cricket have been shifted as well due to the challenges created by the pandemic, he said.
He 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 said.
He underlined that the traits learnt in sports training such as the ability to face challenges, self-discipline, positivity and self-belief were the essential tools to combat the spread of the virus.
He asked them to include the following five points in their message to people: ‘Sankalp’ to fight the pandemic, ‘Samyam’ 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 a 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.
An official press release said 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.
Modi said it was imperative India emerges victorious in this battle against the pandemic and expressed confidence in pro-active participation by the sportspersons in this battle.
More than 40 top sportspersons from across disciplines including Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, 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, cricketer Yuvraj Singh and men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli participated in the video conference.
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and other senior officials of the Ministry also participated in the interaction.