The Indian women’s hockey team on Friday launched a fun fitness challenge to raise funds for the migrant labourers whose families have been affected by the nationwide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 18-day challenge aims to raise money through crowdfunding to feed at least 1,000 families while also encouraging people to adapt to an active lifestyle during the nationwide lockdown that has been extended till May 3.
“…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,” captain Rani Rampal said in a Hockey India press release.
“…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 1,000 families,” she said.
The money from the crowd-funding effort will be donated to a Delhi-based NGO Uday Foundation and the proceeds will be used to provide basic necessities for patients at various locations, migrant workers and slum dwellers.
Apart from providing food/dry ration, the fund will also be used to provide sanitary kits that will include soaps and hand sanitisers.
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 her social media handles to take up the challenge and donate ₹100 for the cause.
“Everyday, we will give a fun new challenge that can be done by anybody. Those who take up the challenge can donate ₹100 or more to the fundraiser. We really hope people support us in this cause,” vice-captain Savita said.
“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,” she added.
Agreeing with Savita’s views, Rani said, “A few days back when I was talking to my father and 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.