Coronavirus: When crisis strikes, we can either sit back or do our part, says footballer CK Vineeth
With no football tournament in sight, Vineeth is putting in eight hours every day as a volunteer at a local COVID-19 call center.
With Indian Super League (ISL) season done, Jamshedpur FC footballer CK Vineeth has channelized his energies to serve as a volunteer at a COVID-19 call centre set up by the Kannur district administration and the Kerala state sports council.
With no football tournament in sight, Vineeth is putting in eight hours every day to do his part as to help India fight the coronavirus pandemic.
In his new avatar, Vineeth attends local calls and takes down requests of essential items from and then passes them on to delivery agents. "The centre has been functional since March 28," Vineeth told ESPN.
"When I was asked by the sports council vice president OK Vineesh if I'd be keen to help, I jumped right in."
Vineeth has always be at forefront when it comes to social issues.
The 31-year-old expressed his protest and anger over the rape of two minor girls and also came out in open support of a young man named Sreejith, who sat outside the Kerala secretariat for over two years demanding justice following his brother's custodial death. Vineeth was also seen on the frontline, serving people, when two years ago floods ravaged most parts of Kerala.
"When a crisis strikes, we can either sit back or do our part," said Vineeth.
"My state and my district (Kannur) are affected and I just didn't want to be the person watching from the sidelines." said Vineeth.
Kannur is one of the hotspots of the disease in the state registering around 60 cases of COVID-19. Vineeth's call center has been getting on an average of 200 calls a day. The calls could range from people requesting for essentials to kids calling in asking for chocolates.
"We have five BSNL mobile numbers on which people can call. Earlier, kids would call and ask if we could bring them chocolates," explained Vineeth. "Now it's mostly the grocery essentials and a lot of requests for medicines."
If not attending calls, Vineeth is going around distributing food packets to the needy. He visited the Kannur district hospital earlier this month as part of a food packet distribution drive for patients.
Vineeth, on behalf of district panchayat, has also urged people to stay within the confines of their homes.
For Vineeth, it is all about learning from his sport.
"This (football) is a team sport. No one can do it on their own. I owe my career as a footballer to the people. This is my way of giving it back. And believe me it is a very small contribution really." explained Vineeth.