Hima Das was among 49 top Indian sportspersons who were invited to a
video conference by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, to share his thoughts and listen to their opinion on India’s fight against the
Eminent sports personalities like Pullela Gopichand, Sourav Ganguly, PV Sindhu, Sachin Tendulkar, Viswanathan Anand, Bajrang Punia, Virat Kohli, Baichung Bhutia, Sardar Singh and Anju Bobby George were part of the video conference.
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“We first of all thanked the Prime Minister for inviting us,” said Hima in a video the sprinter shared with Timesofindia.com.
“He briefed us on the steps being taken by the government to fight the coronavirus pandemic, especially the work being done by the health department,” Hima added.
COVID-18: Hima Das shares her thoughts with PM Modi
Hima, who was the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAAF worlds (under-20), said all the sportspersons spoke about what they are doing in order to spread awareness during the lockdown.
“We also told the PM what we are doing around the lockdown and coronavirus situation, like how we are following the guidelines and what we are doing in our rooms or at home,” said Hima, who shot to fame with her gold in the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in 2018.
Hima said she also raised the issue of healthcare workers being chased and manhandled by some people, who are not properly honouring the government-enforced lockdown.
“I told the PM that it hurts to see the healthcare workers facing the brunt of people who are not following the lockdown,” the 20-year-old track star added.
Hima concluded by sharing that she suggested to the Prime Minister that even after the 21-day lockdown ends (on April 14), the same social distancing guidelines should continue to remain in place until the virus is completely eradicated.
“I also shared that even after this 21-day lockdown ends, we should follow all the rules until the virus is completely defeated, maintain social distancing and not venture out of homes unnecessarily.” Hima said.
Celebrated Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu also urged India to follow the lockdown guidelines.
“Follow the lockdown and maintain social distancing, We have to follow this together to fight against coronavirus. Stay at home and enjoy the time with family,” said Chanu.
“The Prime Minister also advised to light a diya, candle, or flashlight on April 5 for nine minutes to fight against coronavirus, so please follow that too. Stay at home and stay safe,” she added.