Dubai: ‘Players for Humanity,’ a consortium of current and former international footballers from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, have decided to pool in their resources to help the state ravaged by the twin strikes of super cyclone Amphan and COVID-19 pandemic.
The group of 38 footballers include some of the biggest names in Indian football like veteran goalkeeper Subrata Paul, former national captain Arnab Mondal, Mehtab Hossain, Subhashish Roychowdhury, Sandip Nandy, Pronay Halder, Pritam Kotal and Shouvik Ghosh amongst others.
“The love from the fans is what a footballer’s life is all about. We feel it’s payback time to all who stay affected due to the havoc wreaked by Cyclone Amphan. Life is all about helping each other in times of crisis - it’s about humanity. I urge all to come forward and help,” said Paul.
The love from the fans is what a footballer’s life is all about. We feel it’s payback time to all who stay affected due to the havoc wreaked by Cyclone Amphan
Mondal, a former Blue Tigers captain, appealed to people from outside the state to join the fight against COVID-19 and Amphan.
“I feel that we should all stand together and help those people affected by this. Whatever is within our capabilities, we are trying to help these people and I would urge more people to come forward to help with this.”
Some of the players are set to travel to the Amphan-affected areas in order to reach out to and help the people in need, accoring to international midfielder Pronay Halder.
“I have heard reports that people have lost their homes. Many have their farms ravaged and their entire source for income for the year has gone to waste. Some of us will also go to the affected areas and try to help the people as much as we can,” he said. “This is the first time that I’ve seen such devastation inflicted by a storm. I would personally like to request everyone to stand together and help out the people who are most affected by this tragedy.”
Mehtab Hossain, a former international, said: “As footballers, we feel that we have got a lot of love from society. Hence, we had started Players for Humanity so that we could give something back. Bengal has faced one crisis after another in recent times and if we can help people out in these circumstances, I consider that a blessing.
“Places like the Sunderbans, Kakdweep, Midnapore have suffered a lot of damage so we will try to help the people first. Priority is for those who have lost their homes. We want to give them the material with which they can rebuild their houses,” he added.