India captain Virat Kohli and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma tweeted urging citizens to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off all lights and light candles at 9 pm for nine minutes on Sunday, as a sign of solidarity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The power of the stadium is in its fans. The spirit of India is in its people. Tonight 9pm for 9min, Let’s show the world, we stand as ONE. Let’s show our Health Warriors, We stand behind them. Team India – IGNITED,” tweeted Kohli.
“Team India, we cant get this prescription wrong. Our life depends on winning this test match. Show your solidarity, join us in “The Great Team India Huddle” today 5th April 9pm for 9min. Light to Fight. Are you with me?” Rohit Sharma tweeted.
On Friday, PM Modi spoke with over 40 elite sportspersons, including Kohli and Rohit, on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as the 21-day national lockdown that has been imposed in the country.
“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,” PM Modi tweeted.
“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 sportspersons are doing excellent towards making India free from COVID-19,” he added in another tweet.
PM Modi praised the sportspersons for bringing glory to the nation through their “stellar performances on the field,” and told them that they now they have an important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation as well as spreading the message of social distancing along with asking people to continuously follow advisories given during the lockdown.
The Prime Minister also asked them to include the following five points 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 in this battle including the medical fraternity, the police personnel etc and ‘sahyog’ at personal level as well as at national level through contribution to PM-CARES fund.