The team launched an 18-day fun fitness challenge to help raise funds and also encourage people to stay active during the nation-wide lockdown.
The Indian women's hockey team launched an 18-day fun fitness challenge starting on Friday to raise funds towards helping the poor and migrant families whose lives have been affected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the challenge aims to raise crowdfunding for the cause, the movement also encourages people to use this opportunity to adapt to an active lifestyle during the nation-wide lockdown that has been extended till May 3, 2020.
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"During these difficult times when COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives and every day we are reading in the newspapers and social media about so many people struggling for food, we decided to do something to help these people as a team. When we brainstormed for ideas, we thought an online fitness challenge would be the best way to do it and this way, we can also urge people to stay active during the nation-wide lockdown. Through this initiative, our goal is to raise enough funds to feed at least 1000 families," said India captain Rani Rampal.
The challenge will see members of the Indian women's hockey team come up with fitness tasks that range from burpees, lunges, squats to spider man pushups, pogo hops and more. Each day a player will give a new challenge and tag 10 people on their social media handles, to take up the challenge and donate Rs. 100 to the fundraiser.
"Everyday, we will give a fun new challenge that can be done by anybody. Those who take up the challenge can donate Rs100 or more to the fundraiser. We really hope people support us in this cause. All of us in the Indian Women's Hockey Team come from poor economic backgrounds and we have seen days when we have struggled for food and other basics. Today we are in a position to help and we want to ensure poor people get basics like food and sanitary kits," said vice-captain Savita Punia.
Reflecting Savita's views, Rani said, "A few days back when I was talking to my father, he said, 'if you did not play hockey and lift us out of poverty then maybe we also would have been in the same condition as so many poor people today who are struggling to get food.' When he said this to me, it broke my heart. Everyone in the team has faced so many challenges due to poverty and we know the pain of not getting food. It's thanks to hockey our lives are comfortable today but not everyone is this fortunate."
Rani's father worked as a cart-puller in Shahbad Markanda, Haryana. Her family depended on the daily wages he earned that would cover their basic needs.
The charity from crowdfunding raised by Indian women's hockey team will be donated to a Delhi-based NGO Uday Foundation (https://www.udayfoundation.org/) and the proceeds from the fund will be used to provide basic necessities for patients hosted at various location, migrant workers and slum dwellers. Apart from food/ dry ration, the funds will also be used to provide sanitary kits that will include soaps and hand sanitisers.