In a bid to ensure that ex-international athletes and coaches have access to medical, financial and logistical support during COVID-19, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have joined hands to create a special support cell.
Ex-international athletes and coaches can put forward their requirements for medical aid, oxygen, hospitalisation and other support on an online platform (https://www.research.net/r/SAI-IOA-Covid-19), which is already operational.
Besides a national committee, state-level working groups consisting of representatives of IOA, state government officials and SAI have also been formed to assist applicants from every state.
Speaking about the initiative, union sports minister Kiren Rijiju said, "We stand by those who have contributed to sport in India all their lives and have brought laurels to the country."
"These are tough times and we want to ensure that our ex-athletes or coaches have a full support system to fight the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.
"I am very happy about this joint initiative that has been taken by the Government and IOA. I am confident we will be able to help those in need," he further said.
Speaking about the collaboration, IOA president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said, "The sporting fraternity of India is one big family and in these trying times it is impending on each of us to support the other."
" I thank Kiren Rijiju for taking this initiative forward along with the IOA," he added.
"I am hopeful that we will be able to assist many ex-athletes and coaches who need support right now," he further said.
In addition to extending medical and logistical support in partnership with state governments, funds will also be released from the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS), wherein financial assistance will also be given to sportspersons and their families who are living in dire condition.
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