Paes, Bhutia and other sports stars join hands to spread awareness on fight against coronavirus

Sportstar has collaborated with some of India’s elite athletes – from Leander Paes to P. T. Usha, the Pathan brothers, Bhaichung Bhutia and others – to urge our readers to play it safe.

With sports – and life in general – coming to a standstill globally due to the coronavirus pandemic, safety, for individuals as well as communities, is the byword of these testing times.

Sportstar has collaborated with some of India’s elite athletes – from Leander Paes to P. T. Usha, Anju Bobby George, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, Bhaichung Bhutia and others – to urge our readers to play it safe.

“Today, each of us is going through testing times, which never in our dreams we thought we would go through. Look at the trauma that people are experiencing throughout the world, in our country India, in our own Kerala,” says Olympic long-jumper Anju Bobby George.

“We need to stand up against this and fight as one against this emergency. Whatever the government is asking us to do, we need to obey... At this juncture, what we can do for our society is stay at home...follow social distancing, follow personal hygiene. It may seem a little difficult, but treat this as a service to the nation,” she said.

READ | Sport in the time of the coronavirus

Maintaining personal hygiene is the first step in staying safe. How?

“Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, and if needed, use hand sanitisers and maintain a social distance. Always cover your nose and mouth while sneezing,” says Olympian sprinter P. T. Usha, who adds, “If you observe any symptoms, please do contact the nearby health centre. Remember: protection is prevention.”

Beyond this, we need to work with the authorities concerned – doctors, nurses, other health workers, the police – who are striving to fight the pandemic.

As India international spinner Harbhajan Singh says, “Please improve your behaviour towards our doctors. Please cooperate with the police. Please assist the authorities who are engaged in eradicating this virus from the planet.”

While the nationwide lockdown has made life difficult for many, it is a difficulty to be borne for the safety of all.

“Stay inside your homes. Do maintain the Indian and state governments’ guidelines. Do maintain social distancing. We all should come together to fight this virus,” says former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia. “And we will win.”

Featuring: Leander Paes, Anju Bobby George, P.T.Usha, Deep Dasgupta, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, Vijender Singh, Hima Das, Bajrang Punia, Poonam Yadav, Mithali Raj, Sunil Joshi, M.S.K Prasad, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Ajit Agarkar, Bhaichung Bhutia, Ishan Porel, Pritam Kotal, Dilip Tirkey, Shylo Malsawmtluanga