Apart from cricketers, the other significant personalities from the sporting fraternity who took part in the meeting included Mary Kom, PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Vishwanathan Anand, Hima Das, Bajrang Punia and PV Sindhu. Following the interaction, PM Modi tweeted, "Interacted with sportspersons via video conferencing on the situation arising due to COVID-19. Sports requires self-discipline, tenacity, teamwork and a fighting spirit. These are also required to defeat Coronavirus.”
"From sharing videos that reaffirm the importance of fitness, helping the poor and needy, emphasising on social distancing as well as contributing to efforts such as PM-CARES, our sports persons are doing excellent towards making India free from COVID-19," he further said, praising sportspersons in another tweet.
While lauding the sports personalities for bringing glory to the nation through their stellar performances, he reminded them of their significant role in boosting the morale of the country and spreading the message of social distancing during the tough lockdown period. According to an ANI report, Modi gave the sportspersons five points to include in their message to people: 'sankalp' to fight the pandemic, 'sanyam' to follow social distancing, 'sakaratmakta' to maintain positivity, 'samman' to respect the frontline soldiers including the medical fraternity, the police personnel, and 'sahyog' at personal level as well as at national level through contribution to PM-CARES fund. He further requested them to promote the significance of physical and mental fitness and make people aware about the guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi, addressing the nation through a video message, asked people to conduct another ‘unity’ exercise on April 5 at 9 pm as part of the country’s fight against Coronavirus. "On this Sunday, April 5, we will challenge the darkness of the coronavirus threat together. On April 5, at 9 pm, I need your 9 minutes. At 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your houses and light a Diya, candle, torch or flashlight for 9 minutes at your doors, or balcony," PM Modi said during his address.
He added that nobody is alone in the fight against COVID-19, and that 130 crore Indians are united in the battle. Modi had earlier called for a Janta curfew on March 22 followed by the 21-day lockdown which began on March 25. Meanwhile, the death toll in India owing to the Coronavirus pandemic has crossed 50.
--By A Cricket Correspondent