Coronavirus: Looking forward to helping people in India, says boxer Amir Khan

Amir Khan, the 2004 Olympics silver medallist who has won top honours on the professional boxing circuit, has time and again played good Samaritan, helping out the poor and needy.

Amir Khan: It’s doesn’t matter which part of the world they are in, which religion they belong to or which culture they follow, we have to do our bit.   -  Getty Images

Amir Khan, the 2004 Olympics silver medallist who has won top honours on the professional boxing circuit, has time and again played good Samaritan, helping out the poor and needy. As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, the British boxer of Pakistani origin has decided to donate Rs4 crore to Pakistan to combat the crisis.

In a chat with Sportstar from his home in Bolton on Monday, the 33-year-old made it clear that he is looking forward to helping the people from India as well. “Now, it does not matter if we are from England or from Pakistan. At this point of time, we need to show humanity and help people,” he said.

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At a time when the entire world seems to have come to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, how are you holding up in England?

For me, things are okay. Obviously, it’s quite difficult with the way people are living in England due to coronavirus. We have been told by the government not to go out during this time and stay indoors. The advisory says that one should try and avoid having friends over, going to parties. At the same time, I have a large garden, so I can take the kids out and play with them. In a way, it has helped me to spend time with my children a bit more. We are always on the road, busy training in the gym. But this time I have got to spend some time with the children at home.

 

You have decided to contribute Rs4 crore for the welfare of the poor in Pakistan. You have a huge fan base in India. Any plans to help the people in this part of the world as well?

Definitely. I definitely look forward to help some people in India as well. I am very close to Shilpa Shetty and her foundation. We built an orphanage with her help. We should team up with them. I don’t have a team in India, but I would love to get in touch with some organisation where I can send funds, aid and medicines. Now, it does not matter if we are from England or from Pakistan. At this point of time we need to show humanity and help people. It’s doesn’t matter which part of the world they are in, which religion they belong to or which culture they follow, we have to do our bit. We have to help them. If you guys could connect us to some organisation, I would love to help.

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I saw Akshay Kumar has put in a lot of money. Akshay is doing an amazing thing, and you have to respect him. Maybe he is the first one to give such an amount and people will follow him and would also want to contribute.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed by a year. How do you see it?

It’s going to be pretty hard because the athletes have been training knowing that their bodies will peak ahead of the 2020 Olympics this summer. Now that it has been postponed by a year, it’s gonna be a bit difficult because of the way our bodies are. It could be hard now to re-peak in 2021. I wish them all the best. You can say it’s a level playing field because all of them are in same position. It’s quite fair anyway. It’s a good move that the Olympics have been postponed because we wouldn’t have wanted the Olympics to start and then they have to be cancelled. They would have lost a lot of money as well. So, it’s good that they have pushed it back by one year and hopefully everything will settle down in the next year and athletes can go to Tokyo and perform.

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What is your message to the fans in the times of crisis?

My advice would be stay home and spend time with your family. Stay indoors because it’s a difficult time. The police force and the army will do their bit to ensure you stay at home, but don’t make it too hard for them. We have to respect what the government is saying – stay indoors because it’s for the safety of the people.

Also, when it comes down to celebrities, India and Pakistan have a huge number of actors, actresses, sports personalities who the whole country admires. They have to show their support and contribute. It’s time everyone sticks together and the rich should definitely come forward and help the less fortunate and the poor people. We have to show our support to them.

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