The biggest names in the Indian sports fraternity have come together to encourage the launch of the ‘Play for India‘ initiative to assist individuals whose livelihoods have been placed at a threat due to the suspension of sports activities due to COVID-19 outbreak since March.
Whilst the pandemic has dealt a huge blow to sports, the effect was more serious for all those working at sports venues and training centres.
‘Play for India’ aims to bring together India’s athletic community, fans and athletes and channel their efforts into giving back to people belonging to the frequently invisible support system without whom sports activities wouldn’t be possible. These include cleaners, gardeners, coaches, judges, judges, caddies along with other service employees who aren’t receiving a regular income due to the dearth of work.
In the launch video of the initiative, India’s World Cup-winning hero Yuvraj Singh emphasized on the important role played by these workers. He said: “The sports we all love are made possible only because of the efforts of many unknown, unrecognized figures who support India’s sporting structures. They are vital to every sports fan in the country, but today they have all been struggling because of sports and sporting facilities being closed. They need us to navigate these challenging times.”
Meanwhile, actor Abhishek Bachchan, who also owns teams in the Pro Kabaddi League [Jaipur Pink Panthers] and the Indian Super League [Chennaiyin FC], said, “The ‘Play for India’ initiative aims to provide monetary and non-monetary support to the people who form the very backbone of sports in India. Be it players or fans, together we have the power to come together and truly Play for India.”
The increasing network behind this initiative includes the likes of Dipa Karmakar, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, tennis ace Sania Mirza, cricketers like Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Smriti Mandhana, Mayank Aggarwal and some of the most respected organizations in Indian sport.
You can visit www.playfor.in to, donate, volunteer and champion a cause to help strengthen Indian sport. We should all come forward in this time of need to help each other.
This movement aims to construct a culture of giving back into the Indian sports industry, where athletes, coaches and industry professionals try to aid their co-workers in different ways. Additionally to financial assistance, ‘Play for India’ also permits individuals to volunteer time, effort and energy for valuable causes in and outside the sports community, like education, mental wellness, hygiene etc.
Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports Foundation said: “The Covid-19 crisis has hugely impacted Indian sport with all activity coming to a halt. Those dependent on sport for their livelihood have been the hardest hit. We hope our initiative will help these people through this tough period. We believe that our collective experience in this space enables us to provide a trustworthy platform for promoting, facilitating, and supporting sporting causes throughout India.”
Indian tennis star Somdev Devvarman remarked: ” ‘Play for India’ is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together. I encourage everyone to participate in their way whether it is through donations, volunteering or by suggesting a worthwhile cause to benefit those in need.”
‘Play For India’ is for everybody who wishes to give back to Indian sports. Although his immediate goal is to assist our less fortunate colleagues during this present crisis, it’ll continue to work to encourage and support the thousands of worthy causes and individuals working on the frontline of Indian sports.
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