Lockdown diaries: Advani requests citizens not to celebrate

Cue sports star Pankaj Advani, who is helping his family in household chores, bats for extended lockdown, hygiene and social distancing.

Pankaj Advani has donated ₹5 lakh to the PM CARES Fund.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SUDHAKARA JAIN

Pankaj Advani is not worried about missing competitive cue sports action, as there are bigger issues to tackle. “I find it weird when sportspersons speak about their sport at this time, as we’re looking at bigger things like survival, health and safety. These things are much more important than one’s sporting career. The police, nurses, doctors and paramedics — they are our saviours. They put their lives at risk for us. I express my gratitude to all of them,” Advani told Sportstar on Monday.

With a contribution of ₹5 lakh to the PM CARES Fund, Advani has done his bit in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not a doctor, policeman or someone who is in the front line of this battle. So this donation is the least I can do. We face a massive fight. The coronavirus has affected the entire world — people are suffering and dying,” Advani, a multiple-time world champion, said.

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Advani emphasised on citizens doing their bit by taking the necessary safety precautions. The 34-year-old appealed to the public to not turn occasions like ‘diya’ lighting into celebratory affairs.

“I request everyone to keep distance, stay indoors, wash your hands and wear a mask whenever you go out. We tend to make a ‘mela’ out of the directions given by the government. Lighting a 'diya' and clapping for our health workers is good, but we should do it sensibly. We should not make an event out of it by bursting crackers and so on. Indians are social people in general, but all socialising must wait. Religious gatherings and other functions must wait,” Advani said.


Advani believes that an extended lockdown would be the right way to go. “In my opinion, the lockdown should be extended beyond April 14, but of course the government is best-placed to take this decision. It would also be nice if the government regularly provides numbers and statistics related to the coronavirus. That will help us understand where we’re headed,” he said.

Advani, who lives with his mother, is finding ways to keep himself occupied. “I'm exercising, though I'm not very regular. I'm also helping with household chores like cleaning, dusting and so on. It makes me appreciate the efforts of everyone who works for us at home,” he said.

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