India's Tokyo athletes promote safe celebrations to prevent Covid-19 surge during festivals
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra and Paralympics gold-medallist Avani Lekhara will remind citizens of the continued importance of observing Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB)
India's history-making Olympians and Paralympians have joined hands in a health ministry initiative promoting safe celebrations to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases during the upcoming festival season.
The likes of Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and trail-blazer Paralympics gold-medallist shooter Avani Lekhara will remind citizens of the continued importance of observing Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) like maintaining hand hygiene, keeping six feet distance, wearing a mask, and vaccinating themselves if they are above 18 years of age.
"Khathinaaiyon ka samjhdhaari se saamna aur samaadhaan nikaalna humari zimmedaari hai (To resolve and face problems is our responsibility) …Sports aur Zindagi mein!" they can be heard saying in a promotional video.
Other athletes who feature in the video to support the initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare include Tokyo Olympics medal-winning wrestlers Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, fencer Bhavani Devi and goalkeeper of India's bronze-winning men's hockey team PR Sreejesh.
Besides Lekhara, other Tokyo Paralympics medal-winners who feature in the video are high-jumper Praveen Kumar, archer Harvinder Singh, discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya, shuttler Manoj Sarkar and club throw finalist Ekta Bhyan.
"With the festival season beginning in India with aplomb, India's decorated Olympians and Paralympians have joined hands ... in a video that has been produced to support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's efforts to inspire and promote safe celebrations during the festival period to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases," a release said.
"The video titled #TyoharonKeRangCABKeSang demonstrates hope against all adversity and features India's Olympic and Paralympic heroes reminding their fellow citizens to not let their guard down during their celebrations and to celebrate festivals responsibly." The ministry said the country's Olympians and Paralympians embodied the very spirit of India by rising up to the challenge, against all odds to win medals.
"Through this video, the essence of their conquering spirit is captured, to encourage and inspire the 1.3 billion Indian citizens to similarly overcome Covid-19 by observing all COVID Appropriate protocols and urging others to celebrate #COVIDSafeFestivities. The inspiring video is a reminder to all Indians that nothing is impossible and that together we can overcome any of our adversities including the current pandemic."
India won an unprecedented seven medals in the Tokyo Olympics, including the gold by Chopra in July-August. Later, the country's Paralympians scooped 19 medals, including five gold, in a record-breaking performance.