The Karnataka Swimming Association has announced that it will provide a three-month financial relief package worth Rs 15 lakh to coaches and pool staff in the state in dire need of monetary support after swimming pools remain shut into its sixth month due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Calling it a first-of-a-kind initiative by a state governing body for swimming in India, the KSA said in a statement that it will provide the monetary assistance through its fundraiser 'KSA Cares.' The Association said in August, it had dispersed Rs 5.50 lakh financial aid to 250 coaches and pool staff across Karnataka.
"A sum of Rs 10,000, Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 1,500 each per month was contributed to an individual based on his or her designation, performance and take-home salary at the time of lockdown," the statement read. Apart from this, the State Association also distributed dry ration worth Rs 3,000 each to coaches and pool staff from affiliated centres which are registered with the Karnataka Swimming Association.
This relief package will be extended till October. "With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directive to keep the Swimming Pools shut into its sixth consecutive month, coaches and pool staff have been the hardest hit in the swimming community. We took up the onus of supporting them through a substantial three-month financial aid starting August," stated KSA President Gopal Hosur, retired IPS officer. Hosur said the KSA has deposited the second round of financial aid on September 14 to the coaches and pool staff's accounts.
"Apart from KSA's own funds, we also received overwhelming support from Infosys Foundation who contributed 400 bags of food items, Premanjali Foundation contributed 300 bags and Kirloskar Systems contributed Rs 3 lakh towards the cause," Hosur added. Coaches and pool staff from various districts including Mangaluru, Belgaum, Mandya, Davengere, Karwar, Udupi, Shimoga, among others, have benefited from this initiative. The selection process involved individuals applying for the financial aid through Google Doc shared by KSA with affiliated centres across the state.
According to KSA secretary general, Satish Kumar, about 270 people had applied for the financial aid of which only those registered with the Association were selected. The KSA also extended support to those who frequently volunteered to support KSA during events and competitions, the statement said.