Hours after the Prime Minister called for a 9-minute blackout at 9 pm on Sunday, he held a video chat with all the leading sportspersons of India. Amid the coronavirus outbreak taking the wildest form infecting almost 2,301 people in the country, PM Modi interacted with as many as 40 eminent sports personalities from various sports on Friday. Including Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, badminton stalwart PV Sindhu, the Prime Minister also spoke with chess legend Viswanathan Anand and former athlete PT Usha.
Reportedly, the basic idea was to ensure that they can then go ahead and pass on the message of staying safe and staying indoors to the masses. It was learnt that the PM appreciated the efforts put in by the sportspersons so far including their contributions to the PM CARES Fund to combat the Coronavirus. The Prime Minister also welcomed suggestions from all the sportspersons who raised concerns over the social distancing.
PM Modi told them that they now have an important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation asking people to continuously follow advisories given during lockdown. Meanwhile, many of the political experts speculated this to be a master move, more like one shot two birds.
It is a known fact that cricketers are literally worshipped in the country which can be cashed in both raising awareness about the social distancing and to raise funds. Sports has been one of the sectors which was badly hit by the Corona lockdown with all the sporting events all across the country stalled due to the menace of the coronavirus.
Below is the list of 49 prominent sportspersons who interaction with PM Modi,
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Cricket), Virat Kohli (Cricket), Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mamatha Poojary (Kabaddi), Sourav Ganguly (Cricket), Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket), Virender Sehwag (Cricket), Mohd Shami (Cricket), KL Rahul (Cricket), Cheteshwar Pujara (Cricket), Yuvraj Singh (Cricket), Zaheer Khan (Cricket), PT Usha (Athletics), Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling), Bajrang Punia (Wrestling), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), PV Sindhu (Badminton), Mary Kom (Boxing), Hima Das (Athletics), Viswanathan Anand (Chess), Rani Rampal (Hockey), Deepika Kumari (Archery), Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting), Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Sharad Kumar (Para Athletics), Apurvi Chandela (Shooting), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Tarundeep Rai (Archery), Bhaichung Bhutia (Football), Sardara Singh (Hockey)Achanta Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis), Amit Panghal (Boxing), Gagan Narang (Shooting), Anju Bobby George (Athletics), Rohan Bopanna (Tennis), Ankita Raina (Tennis), Sai Praneeth (Badminton), Srihari Natraj (Swimming), Harmeet Desai (Table Tennis), Abhishek Verma (Shooting), Avinash Sable (Athletics), KT Irfan (Athletics), Lovlina Boroghain (Boxing), Simranjeet Kaur (Boxing), Jeremy (Weightlifting), Bhavani Devi (Fencing), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton).