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Indian women’s hockey team kickstart fitness challenge to raise funds for migrant families

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The Indian women's hockey team | Twitter | @TheHockeyIndia
The Indian women’s hockey team | Twitter | @TheHockeyIndia


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New Delhi: The Indian women’s hockey team launched a fitness challenge Friday to raise funds for poor and migrant families whose lives have been affected by the nationwide lockdown to curb Covid-19.

The 18-day fitness challenge will see different members of the team doing fitness tasks ranging from burpees, lunges, squats to spiderman pushups, pogo hops and more.

It aims to raise money through crowdfunding — a player will set a new challenge everyday, tagging 10 people on their social media handles to take up the challenge and donate Rs 100 to the fundraiser.

Proceeds from the campaign will be donated to an NGO called Uday Foundation to provide basic necessities for patients hosted at various locations, migrant workers and slum dwellers. The funds will also be used to provide soaps and hand sanitisers along with food rations.

In a video featuring all the members of the team, the athletes urged others to join the fitness fundraiser as well and donate Rs 100 daily.

“All of us in the Indian Women’s Hockey Team come from poor economic backgrounds and we have seen days when we have struggled for food and other basics. Today we are in a position to help and we want to ensure poor people get basics like food and sanitary kits,” said Vice Captain Savita Punia in a statement.

Echoing the sentiment, Captain Rani Rampal said, “A few days back when I was talking to my father, he said, ‘If you did not play hockey and lift us out of poverty then maybe we also would have been in the same condition as so many poor people today who are struggling to get food.’ When he said this to me, it broke my heart.”

“Everyone in the team has faced so many challenges due to poverty and we know the pain of not getting food. It’s thanks to hockey our lives are comfortable today but not everyone is this fortunate,” she added.

Rampal’s father was a cart-puller and survived on daily wages in Haryana.


Also read: Covid-19 forces BCCI and cricketers to brace for loss of income, pay cuts


Many laud the team’s efforts

Kickstarting the challenge, Rampal and another player Jyoti completed 500 jumps in over three minutes. Rampal tagged Minister of State for Sports Kiren Rijiju, actor Suniel Shetty, singer Diljit Dosanjh, wrestler Geeta Phogat among others to take part in the challenge.

The initiative by these women was hailed by many including Rijiju, who said that it was an amazing initiative.

Psephologist Yashwant Deshmukh called the team’s effort a ‘Chak De’ moment, referring to the popular Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 2007 movie ‘Chak De India’ on women hockey players.

 


Also read: Wimbledon cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic, first time since World War II


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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