India’s young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant on Saturday joined the fight against the raging COVID-19 pandemic, pledging an undisclosed amount to procure oxygen cylinders with beds and kits for the affected patients. Pant was leading the Delhi Capital franchise in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. However, the second wave of Covid-19 has taken India by a storm, with the country recording over 4 lakh cases on a daily basis. This also led to the suspension of the IPL 2021 – the world’s most-followed T20 league. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Kevin Pietersen Takes Dig at ICC Over Scheduling of WTC Final in Southampton, Suggests Another Venue For 'Incredibly Important Match'
The 23-year-old said he will donate the amount to Hemkunt Foundation, a Gurugram-based NGO. “I am supporting the Hemkunt Foundation through a monetary donation that will help provide O2 cylinders with beds, Covid-relief kits and much more to those suffering across the country,” Pant said in a statement posted on his Twitter handle. Also Read - COVID-19: India Vaccinates Record 80 Lakh People on Day 1 of Revised Guidelines, PM Modi Says 'Well Done'
Pant saluted the country’s frontline workers, who have been working tirelessly to help the coronavirus-infected people throughout the past year. “However, the cause of helping India overcome these unprecedented times needs all our collective efforts,” he wrote. Also Read - MATCH HIGHLIGHTS IND vs NZ WTC Final, Today DAY 4 Cricket Updates: Reserve Day in Focus as Play Abandoned Due to Rain in Southampton
“One of the most important aspects I have learned from sport is the power of working together as a team for a common cause,” said Pant, who captained Delhi Capitals in the now-suspended IPL.
Essential supplies such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators, hospital beds and some crucial medicines are dwindling in the face of a devastating second wave of coronavirus which is killing more than 3000 people daily in the country.
“The scale of despair across our country has been immense and something I have been deeply affected by. As someone who has seen personal loss up close, my heart goes out to all the families who have suffered over the past year and I pray for the souls of those who have left us,” Pant said.
“I am keen to work with organisations providing medical aid and support to rural India and non-metro cities, which do not have the capacity of medical infrastructure than that of the major cities.”
Pant asked people to come forward and join the fight against COVID-19. He also urged the people to get vaccinated.
“I urge everyone to contribute in their own way so that we can help reach the remotest part of the country and spread awareness about COVID relief and vaccination programs being run by the central and state governments,” he said.
“Please remember to stay safe, follow safety protocols, and get vaccinated, when possible.”
Several cricketers, including Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Jaydev Unadkat, Hardik Pandya and Pat Cummins have already made contributions to help India’s fight against the unprecedented health crisis.
(With PTI Inputs)