New Delhi: The Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, a pan India non-profit organisation has announced cash relief for blind cricketers across India, during these extreme times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost 600 cricketers, that includes men and women, will benefit to the tune of approximately Rs 35 lakh thanks to the largesse of Give India with whom Samarthanam has tied up to provide the cricketers associated with the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI).
Players of the 24 state teams that took part in the second season of the All India Nagesh Trophy Men’s National Cricket Tournament for the Blind as also players from the seven states that took part in the inaugural Women’s National Cricket Tournament for the Blind will each receive Rs 7,000 (for those in Tier 1 cities), Rs 5000 (for Tier 2 cities) and Rs 4,000 (for tier 3 cities).
Soon after the lockdown was announced, the Samarthanam Trust started identifying disabled people in dire need of support and chalked out an action plan to implement the relief work.
As many as 14 cities are being covered under the relief work, 3.5 lakh meals were cooked and supplied while dry ration kits are being given to 16,000 people with a focus on persons with disabilities.
Medical equipment such as 32,000 PPE kits and other aids such as pulse oximeters, ICU beds, masks and sanitizers were provided to 12 government hospitals.
In addition, about one lakh frontline workers (ASHA workers, Sanitation workers, Anganwadi workers, Police personnel) were supported with masks, sanitizers, medical gear and even sarees (uniforms).
Meantime some of the state associations like Kerala and Delhi announced some cash relief for their players.
“The need of the hour is cash so that each individual can decide for himself or herself what their immediate needs are and use the money accordingly,” said Mahantesh GK, the Founder Managing Trustee of Samarthanam and the President of CABI.
“We wish we could do more but for that blind cricket needs more support from the Union Sports Ministry as also the BCCI. Our cricketers have won four World Cups (two ODI World Cups and two T20 World Cups) and have brought great laurels to the nation.
We also conduct our national tournaments and have bilateral cricket series regularly every year thanks to some support from the corporate world but much more needs to be done,” added Mahantesh.