A hugely popular footballer in his home state of Kerala, India and Jamshedpur FC winger C K Vineeth has joined a government helpline centre there to advice people on how to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vineeth, who has played for the national team and was a part of Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League 2019-20, was contacted by the Kerala Sports Council about the helpline in Kannur and he immediately jumped into the thick of things. "After I came back here (in Kerala), I got a call from the Kerala Sports Council, asking whether I would like to help with the COVID-19 helpline, so I joined in," Vineeth said. "Whatever little I could do to help during an emergency," he said in an All India Football Federation release.
The 31-year-old, who is adored by fans in Kerala, said he intends to continue working at the helpline centre till the end of the lockdown. He began working at the centre on March 28. "The plan is that we would continue this help-line till the dangers of the Coronavirus are averted, and the lockdown comes to an end. The situation in Kerala is much-improved now, of course," the crafty winger said. Though Vineeth and his co-workers at the helpline centre were not directly in touch with people, they are taking all the precautions.
"Of course, we are following the guidelines prescribed by the Government, while commuting to and from the call-centre,” said Vineeth. "We are provided with gloves, masks, and sanitisers, which we use quite often. But those of us working here are not exactly exposed. We all just go home, and come here."
The Jamshedpur FC attacker feels that the curve has indeed flattened in Kerala, with the number of cases going down over time. The number of calls that he has been getting have also decreased, since the time he started working at the centre. "Before, we used to get over 150 calls per day. Now, that number has gone down a lot. The number of cases are also going down in the state. We just need to stay strong and wade through these troubled times," Vineeth said. "I would like to urge everyone to stay at home and follow the government's guidelines. It's a good time to spend with your family. Stay safe people, and take care."