Sachin Tendulkar said managing the period after April 14 – when the nationwide lockdown in place to counter the spread of the coronavirus pandemic gets over – will be crucial to how India fares in this battle. Speaking after a video call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tendulkar said in a statement that this belief of his was shared by the PM.
Tendulkar was among 40-odd elite sportspersons with whom the PM had a one hour video call to discuss the prevailing situation which has claimed more than 50 lives in India with 2000 plus positive cases. The country is currently in a 21-day lockdown which ends on April 14.
“He (PM Modi) highlighted and reaffirmed my belief that we should not let our guard down after the 14th of April, & how we manage that period will be very critical,” Tendulkar said in a statement after the interaction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meeting with 40 top sportspersons, including Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu and Hima Das, via video conferencing today, on #COVID19 situation in the country. pic.twitter.com/eC4xKceL4a
— ANI (@ANI) April 3, 2020
The other athletes who were on the call included Virat Kohli, PV Sindhu, Hima Das, Bhaichung Bhutia, PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Vishwanathan Anand, Mary Kom, Bajrang Punia, Sourav Ganguly, Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Cheteshwar Pujara and others.
Like everyone else, Tendulkar is also practising social distancing and said he now folds his hands to say ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking hands. “I also suggested that as much as possible, I will use our way of greeting – saying ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking hands, even after we overcome this pandemic,” he said.
Post his interaction with the Prime Minister @sachin_rt says he has suggested that even after the pandemic is under control we should continue with our greeting of namaste and not shake hands for a while and not let our guard down.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) April 3, 2020
Modi also spoke about this being the time when elderly people, who are more vulnerable, should be taken care of. “Taking care of our elders who are most vulnerable and using this time to hear from them, their stories and experiences was something the Prime Minister resonated with.”
The mental aspect of a lockdown was also discussed. “We also spoke about mental fitness being as important as physical fitness during this phase, and shared what I’m doing at home to keep fit. “This is the time for our entire nation to come together and keep each other motivated. Like team spirit wins us games in sports, our nation should work as one team to overcome this,” Tendulkar concluded.
(With PTI inputs)
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