Indian women's hockey team raise Rs2m+ for COVID relief

BENGALURU: In an unprecedented effort to help the poor and migrant workers whose livelihood has been affected due to the nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Women's Hockey Team has raised an overwhelming Rs 2,001,130 which is being contributed to feed more than 1,000 families. 

The Indian team had launched an 18-day fitness challenge starting 17 April to raise funds for the charity. While the challenge aimed to raise crowdfunding for the cause, the movement also encouraged people to use this opportunity to adapt to an active lifestyle during the nation-wide lockdown. The challenge ended on Sunday, 3 May.   

"The response we have received was really overwhelming. People, especially Indian hockey lovers from across the globe took part in the challenge and contributed for the cause. On behalf of the Indian Women Team, I would like to thank everyone who took part in this initiative to help the poor. It was heartening to see many Hockey India Member Units, legends and former India hockey players show their support by taking part in this initiative and we are truly grateful," expressed Rani, captain of the Indian women's hockey team.     

The challenge involved the members of the Indian women's hockey team who came up with different fitness tasks that ranged from burpees, lunges, squats to spider man pushups, pogo hops and more. Each day a player gave a new challenge and tagged 10 people on their social media handles, to take up the challenge and donate Rs 100 to the fundraiser. 

"Initially when we discussed about this challenge with our chief coach and understood how online fundraiser works, we didn't think that the outcome would be so immense. But we saw people's support grow day-by-day. Many of them would send us messages and patted our backs for taking this up and it encouraged us more. We would also like to thank Hockey India and our chief coach Sjoerd Marijne and entire support staff for backing us in this initiative which we felt very strongly about because most of us in the team come from very difficult financial backgrounds," stated team vice-captain Savita. 

The charity from crowdfunding raised by the Indian women's hockey team was 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.