Star wrestler Bajrang Punia on Monday decided to donate his six months salary towards the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and called for the postponement of Tokyo Olympics, saying the mega event will lose sheen if it goes ahead in the absence of nations who have already pulled out. Also Read - AIIMS Discontinues Contract Tracing Of Exposed HCWs
The 25-year-old Bajrang is one of India’s medal contenders at the Games, which are under doubt due to the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 15000 lives and infected more than 3,00,000 people worldwide. Also Read - Sushmita Sen Gives a Befitting Reply To Troll Who Criticised Her For Sending Oxygen Cylinders To Delhi
Bajrang, the 2019 World Championship bronze medallist, works with the Railways as an officer on special duty (OSD). Also Read - Kejriwal Used PM-CM Conference as Platform to Play politics: Centre After Delhi CM's Televised Appeal
“I have decided to donate my six months salary,” Bajrang tweeted and immediately earned praise from Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who said it was a laudable effort.
Talking to PTI, Bajrang said, “Before Olympics we have to fight Coronavirus. If situation does not improve, and continues for 2-3 months, it will be perfectly alright to postpone the Olympics.”
“If it is held with Coronavirus continuing to wreak havoc, a lot of nations will not send their athletes. Already Canada and Australia have said they won’t send their athletes. What’s the point then.
“So it is not just India’s problem, it’s a global issue, which needs to be tackled first,” he added.
Bajrang is training at an apartment in Sonepat while his coach Shako Bentinidis has left for Georgia.
India’s foreign coach for women wrestlers Andrew Cook has also left for the US a few days ago.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) says it will decide the country’s participation in about four weeks’ time.
(With PTI inputs)