As the second COVID-pandemic wave rages across, one of the most common sights across all social media platforms are the multiple SOS calls from people with almost everyone frantically searching for either hospital beds, medicines or oxygen.
Indian football stars have leapt into action by offering their respective social media handles in order to amplify distress calls. India International CK Vineeth, who is no stranger to helping people in need, has come forward once again, banking on his social media presence to help the needy.
“As a human being, I believe it must be in our nature to help others who are in need. Right now, I feel it’s important to step in and do whatever I can,” Vineeth, popularly referred to as CK, opined.
“Over the years we have managed to build a community of football players, management staff, and supporters on social media, especially Twitter, that has grown exceptionally strong despite all the club rivalry. I felt I needed to join in and help -- in whatever small way possible,” the Kerala-based striker told www.the-aiff.com.
Apart from the oxygen requirements, blood banks have also appealed to citizens to donate before they get vaccinated. And the nimble-footed winger has urged everyone to come forward and assist in this drive.
“I think it’s increasingly important that those who can donate blood should do so before they get vaccinated. Amidst the second wave, there’s no doubt that there will be a shortage of blood and plasma in the blood banks in the coming months, as more and more people in younger age groups are all set to get vaccinated,” CK averred.
“The period after which a vaccinated person can donate blood is too long, and people need to understand that they can save lives by doing something as simple as visiting a blood bank,” he maintained.
The forward from Kannur had made headlines last year when he was seen working as a volunteer at a Covid-19 helpline centre back home in 2020 during the nationwide lockdown.
“I don’t consider it as ‘social work’,” CK smiled. “I consider it my duty as a citizen to give back to our community that has given me so much over the years. Throughout my career, I have realised that I don’t want people to see me as just a footballer, but also as someone who wants to make a difference and aims to affect a change in the mindset of the community.”
He also urged his fans to come and support each other in every way possible to help them fight the deadly virus.
“What is happening on Twitter is visible. But it’s also equally important that we take care of people who may not have access to social media. Whether it is by calling up one another just to check in on them, looking out for our elderly neighbours who may need help but are scared to venture out, or taking care of animals on the streets during the lockdown -- there are so many different ways by which we can make a difference,” he expressed.
“I think it says a lot about the football community that players like Chhetri-Bhai, Darren, Sahal, Rino, Robin, Nirmal-bhai and others have come out and have led by example,” he stated.
“Sharing a message with information or a plea for resources -- it does make a massive difference. In the football community, some of us have only a few thousand followers, while others have over a million, but the truth is that every single call made or a tweet posted or shared makes a difference,” he felt.
CK also urged people to speak up as and when necessary. "If you spot someone not wearing a mask, tell them to. If you feel someone is making a wrong decision, let them know. The virus doesn’t discriminate between the rich and poor or the young from the old,” he said.