IOA, MYAS and SAI come together to provide support to ex-international athletes & coaches amid Covid-19
By Our Correspondent, 09/05/2021, New Delhi

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Indian Olympic Association, IOA and the Sports Authority of India, SAI have joined hands to create a special support cell, to ensure that former international athletes and coaches have access to medical, financial and logistical support during Covid 19. Former international athletes and coaches can put forward their requirements for medical aid, oxygen, hospitalisation and other support on an online platform, which is already operational. Besides a National committee, state-level working groups consisting of representatives of IOA, state government officials and SAI have also been formed to assist applicants from every State.

Speaking about the initiative, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, Government stand by those who have contributed to sport in India all their lives and have brought laurels to the country. He said, these are tough times and Government want to ensure that the ex athletes or coaches have a full support system to fight the Covid 19 pandemic. Mr Rijiju expressed happiness about the joint initiative. He expressed confidence that we will be able to help those in need.

Speaking about the collaboration, president of Indian Olympic Association Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said, the sporting fraternity of India is one big family and in these trying times it is impending on each of us to support the other. He thanked Mr Rijiju for taking the initiative forward along with the IOA. He expressed hope that we will be able to assist many ex athletes and coaches who need support right now. In addition to extending medical and logistical support in partnership with state governments, funds will also be released from the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons, wherein financial assistance will also be given to sportspersons and their families who are living in dire condition.