Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting via video conference with top 40 sportspersons of the country including Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, PV Sindhu and Mary Kom on the country’s state 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 PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Vishwanathan Anand, Hima Das, Bajrang Punia, Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Here are the key takeaways from the interaction-
– ‘Sankalp, Sanyam, Sakaratmakta, Samman Sahyog’– The five point mantra given by PM Modi to the sportsperson to tackle the crisis.
‘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.
– Sportspersons have brought glory to the nation, now they have an important role to play in boosting morale of the nation and spreading positivity: PM Modi. He underlined that the traits learnt in sports training viz-a-viz the ability to face challenges, self-discipline, positivity and self-belief are the essential tools to combat the spread of the virus.
– COVID-19 is 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 Olympics has 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: PM Modi.
– PM MOdi also asked them to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularize guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.
– The sportspersons praised PM Modi’s leadership 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.
Earlier in the day, Modi urged people to gather together for a unique exercise on April 5 at 9 pm to show they were together in the fight against coronavirus.
“On this Sunday, April 5, we will challenge the darkness of coronavirus threat together. On April 5, at 9 pm, I need your 9 minutes. At 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your houses and light a Diya, candle, torch or flashlight for 9 minutes at your doors, or balcony,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister further said that this will send out a message that nobody among the 130 crore Indians is alone in this fight against the deadly infection.