Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Friday (27th March) donated Rs 50 lakh to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed 17 Indian lives and wreaked havoc globally.
Tendulkar's donation is so far the biggest contribution among India's leading sportspersons, some of whom have pledged their salaries while a few others have donated medical equipment to fight the dreaded outbreak, which has caused more than 24,000 deaths globally.
"Sachin Tendulkar decided to contribute Rs 25 lakh each to Prime Minister's Relief Fund and Chief Minister's Relief Fund in his bid to join the fight against COVID-19. It was his decision that he wanted to contribute to both funds," a source privy to the development, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Tendulkar has been associated with a lot of charity work and there has been umpteen times, he has taken up social causes, helped people, which has never been brought to public notice.
Among other prominent cricketers, the Pathan brothers -- Irfan and Yusuf -- donated 4000 face masks to Baroda police and health department while Mahendra Singh Dhoni, through a Pune based NGO, made a contribution of Rs 1 lakh.
Among athletes from other disciplines, wrestler Bajrang Punia and sprinter Hima Das are some of the prominent names to have donated their salaries in the battle against the dreaded virus which has led to a 21-day national lockdown.
"As a society, it is our responsibility that those among us who have tested positive for COVID-19 get our love and we don't make them feel ashamed," Tendulkar said in a video on his Twitter page.
"Maintain social distancing but don't alienate them from the society. We can win this war against coronavirus if we support each other," he added.
Former India player Shukla donates MLA salary as well as BCCI pension
Former India cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who is currently the sports minister of West Bengal, has donated his three months' MLA salary along with BCCI pension for the same period to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
As of now, 735 have tested positive in India with Bengal recording 10 such cases along with one death. The national death toll has touched 17 in the deadly outbreak, which has killed more than 24,000 globally.
"It is the need of the hour that we all contribute to the best of our abilities. I have already donated three months of my MLA salary to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Also, I get pension from BCCI. I have donated three months of my BCCI pension," Shukla told PTI on Friday.
Shukla, played three ODIs for India in 1999 before ankle injury cut short his career.
A respected all-rounder in domestic cricket, he represented Bengal and East Zone in over 100 first-class matches and has also been a part of IPL-winning Kolkata Knight Riders team.
Cricket Association of Bengal office-bearers raise Rs 4 lakh
Cricket Association of Bengal's (CAB) office-bearers came forward and raised Rs 4 lakh for the West Bengal Emergency Relief Fund to help stem the spread of coronavirus.
CAB president Avishek Dalmiya had made a personal contribution of Rs 5 lakh, while the association donated Rs 25 lakh towards the COVID-19 pandemic aid.
The cricket body's secretary Snehashis Ganguly, vice-president Naresh Ojha, joint-secretary Debabrata Das and its affiliated unit South Suburban Club donated Rs 1 lakh each.
"In these dark days we need to fight this pandemic shoulder to shoulder. Hence I have decided to contribute Rs one lakh personally to the cause. Let's do our best to battle this menace," Snehasish, brother of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and a former cricketer himself, said in a statement.
He further said that his Salt Lake-based academy '22-Yards' will donate Rs 50,000.
"These are uncertain times and we all need to come forward and join the battle. I feel humbled to make a paltry contribution of one lakh rupees to the cause," CAB vice-president Ojha said.
"I am happy to inform that South Suburban Club has shown its keenness to be with the people of the state by contributing Rs 1 lakh," Debasish Ganguly, the treasurer at CAB, said.
The disease has so far claimed 13 lives in the country while infecting over 600 people.
"Based on the appeal made by Avishek Dalmiya, I am happy to make a humble contribution of Rs 1 lakh to the state fund to help fight the pandemic," joint secretary Debabrata Das said.
The CAB also urged current and former cricketers, scorers, umpires, match observers, coaches, committee members and others connected with the organisation to come forward and donate.
COVID19: MCA to donate Rs 50 lakh to Maha govt
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) decided to donate Rs 50 lakh to the Maharastra government in its fight against the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MCA Secretary Sanjay Naik told PTI that the city's cricket body conducted it's Apex Council meeting on Thursday in which it authorised the President and Secretary to decide the donation amount.
"Accordingly we decided to donate Rs 50 lakh," said Naik.
A MCA Apex Council member said that the amount will be donated to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
The member also said that the MCA is also ready to give its properties including the Wankhede Stadium in South Mumbai for quarantine in case the government requires it.
Maharastra is one of the most affected states in the country due to the Coronavirus with 124 positive cases reported till Thursday afternoon.