India's cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday donated Rs one crore to procure oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients in the country as it battles a severe second wave of the global pandemic.
India is witnessing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections and recorded a single-day rise of 3,79,257 new cases on Wednesday.
The health-care system is crumbling due to the crisis with hospitals struggling to provide oxygen and crucial medicines to the infected patients.
"His donation of Rs 1 crore to 'Mission Oxygen' in its endeavour to procure and provide life-saving oxygen concentrators to hospitals across the nation in this time of need is incredibly heart-warming," read a statement from Mission Oxygen, which is a fund-raising initiative by Delhi-NCR based entrepreneurs for importing Oxygen Concentrator machines and donating them to hospitals in need.
The 48-year-old from Mumbai, who had spent some time in hospital himself after testing positive for the dreaded infection last month, also took to twitter to praise the initiative.
"The second wave of COVID has put our health-care system under immense pressure. Providing oxygen for the large number of serious COVID patients is the need of the hour," Tendulkar said.
"It is heartening to see how people are rising to the occasion. A group of 250+ young entrepreneurs have launched Mission Oxygen to raise funds for importing oxygen concentrators and donating them to hospitals across the country.
"I've helped by contributing to the cause and hope that their effort soon reaches out to many more hospitals across India. Today, we have to stand together behind everyone that is working hard to fight this pandemic."
Tendulkar has also pledged to donate plasma once he is eligible.
IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals also contributed Rs 7.5 crore and 1.5 crore respectively for the fight against the pandemic.
A few days back, Australia and Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Pat Cummins had donated $50,000 to purchase oxygen supplies for Indian hospitals.