New Delhi: In an unprecedented effort to help the poor and migrant workers whose livelihood have been affected due to the nationwide lockdown to fight Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian women's hockey team has raised an overwhelming Rs 20,01,130 which is being contributed to feed more than 1000 families.
The Indian team had launched an 18-day fitness challenge starting April 17 to raise funds for the charity. While the challenge aimed to raise crowdfunding for the cause, the movement also encouraged people to use this opportunity to adapt to an active lifestyle during the nation-wide lockdown. The challenge ended on May 3.
"The response we have received was really overwhelming. People, especially Indian hockey lovers from across the globe took part in the challenge and contributed for the cause. On behalf of the Indian women team, I would like to thank everyone who took part in this initiative to help the poor. It was heartening to see many Hockey India Member Units, legends and former India hockey players show their support by taking part in this initiative and we are truly grateful," expressed Rani Rampal, captain of the women's team.
The challenge involved the members of the women's team who came up with different fitness tasks that ranged from burpees, lunges, squats to spider man pushups, pogo hops and more. Each day a player gave a new challenge and tagged 10 people on their social media handles, to take up the challenge and donate Rs 100 to the fundraiser.
"Initially when we discussed about this challenge with our chief coach and understood how online fundraiser works, we didn't think that the outcome would be so immense. But we saw people's support grow day-by-day. Many of them would send us messages and patted our backs for taking this up and it encouraged us more. We would also like to thank Hockey India and our chief coach Sjoerd Marijne and entire support staff for backing us in this initiative which we felt very strongly about because most of us in the team come from very difficult financial backgrounds," stated vice-captain Savita.
Congratulating the team for their initiative, Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, president, Hockey India said: "It is very heartening to see the Indian women's hockey team take up such a thoughtful initiative. I have been informed that hundreds of people have already benefited from this cause and have received dry rations, this makes us extremely proud of the players. The team has shown that sports people always have a big heart and come forward to help when needed. I not only congratulate the team on behalf of Hockey India, but I also like to thank them for taking this cause up and feeding the needy."
The charity from crowdfunding raised was donated to a Delhi-based NGO Uday Foundation and the proceeds from the fund will be used to provide basic necessities for patients hosted at various location, migrant workers and slum dwellers. Apart from food/ dry ration, the funds will also be used to provide sanitary kits that will include soaps and hand sanitisers.