Amid brickbats, Rajasthan Royals & Delhi Capitals extend help in fight against Covid

RR has announced a sum of Rs 7.5 Crores while DC pledged Rs 1.5 crore in Covid aid.

MUMBAI: The fourteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), taking place amid a raging pandemic, has been met with severe criticism from several quarters for being “tone deaf’ to the situation in the country. With the tournament now progressing into its second leg, matches are being staged in Ahmedabad and Delhi, where the prevailing Covid2019 crisis is at its peak right now.

Many global observers have also censured the cash-rich league, stating that “the country's sole focus” should be on subduing the virus and not on a game of cricket. On the other hand, there are voices which feel that perhaps the game offers some respite to a nation ravaged by the second wave of the viral onslaught.

While opinions continue to differ on whether it is appropriate to conduct the matches at such a time, IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) have stepped forward to do their bit by aiding Covid relief efforts.

RR has announced a contribution of Rs 7.5 crores to help India fight the second wave of Covid2019 while DC has pledged Rs 1.5 crore to the national capital in Covid aid. Both teams took to social media to share the news.

The owners and team management of RR have pooled this amount to support the people impacted by the massive surge in cases. 

"Players along with the team owners and team management have come forward to raise funds and have been working along with the Rajasthan Royals' philanthropic arm Royal Rajasthan Foundation (RRF) in partnership with the British Asian Trust (BAT),” said the official statement on the team’s webpage.

"BAT works closely with the Indian government on many initiatives – especially in the area of skills and education. The Trust’s founder, Prince Charles, launched an emergency "Oxygen for India" appeal, which is currently focused on acquisition and distribution of oxygen concentrators, devices that can provide the enriched gas straight from the air, to treat patients when hospital supplies are under strain,” it detailed.

Also, "The funds raised by Rajasthan Royals will help pan India, with an initial focus on the state of Rajasthan, where the RRF, chaired by Ranjit Barthakur, has numerous initiatives it continues to support.”

It added further that "Having the team owners and its players come together has enabled this initiative to reach the scale it has, providing aid to tackle the current crisis and help people get the single most pressing necessity at this time – oxygen." 

Meanwhile, the Delhi Capitals have donated monetary aid to non-profits in support of the city’s fight against the Covid crisis. The team stated that the amount will be used to procure essential medical supplies, ranging from oxygen cylinders and concentrators to Covid wellness kits.

“Together, the franchise and its patrons, the JSW Foundation & GMR Varalakshmi Foundation are offering financial support amounting to Rs 1.5 crore to NCR based NGOs the Hemkunt Foundation and the Uday Foundation,” the IPL franchise said in a statement.

“In this hour of crisis, DC stands in solidarity with the citizens of Delhi, whose efforts to selflessly help each other in the fight against Covid2019 have been inspiring. We are honoured to extend our support,” said Delhi Capitals interim CEO Vinod Bisht.

The capital city has been one of the worst affected in the country in the second wave of infections. Many hospitals have also been struggling to maintain adequate stock of medical oxygen. As hospitals across the country grapple with an influx of critically ill Covid2019 patients, the demand for medical oxygen has increased by 67 per cent in the last nine days, according to the ministry of health and family welfare.

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