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Australia Test skipper Cummins urges people to donate to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

Colombo, July 9 (IANS) Australia Test captain Pat Cummins on Saturday urged the world to donate wholeheartedly to Sri Lanka, which is in the midst of a massive economic crisis.

The pace-bowling stalwart posted a video on social media and listed the hardships being faced by the island’s people, many of whom are not able to get two square meals a day.

Cummins, Unicef’s Australia ambassador who is in Sri Lanka playing a two-Test series, tweeted, “Sri Lanka is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. I recently sat down with Kowsala and Sathuja (two local girls) in Sri Lanka to speak about their experience and learn more about what’s happening on the ground.”

“I have to say it’s an incredible country with fantastic people. However, day to day life here in Sri Lanka is tough at the moment and children are at the very heart of it,” said Cummins in a two-minute video on Saturday.

“I recently spoke to Kowsala and Sathuja who live here in Sri Lanka and are a part of Unicef’s Sport for Development Programme.”

The two girls narrated the hardships being faced by children in the country, with many forced to skip school due to the fuel shortage.

“Due to the current economic and fuel crisis, it’s been a challenge for us to go to the ground to engage fully with cricket. Because of the fuel crisis, transportation is a problem now. It’s very difficult for use to get the bus,” said Kowsala, the captain of her school’s women’s cricket team.

“The teachers are travelling from far and away but due to the fuel crisis, they aren’t coming to school regularly. Because of this, we have been struggling to learn. School is only open three days a week now,” she said, adding, “Most people are only having one meal a day. Most of the people who rely on fishing aren’t able to go fishing due to the fuel crisis. It’s very difficult,” she added.

Cummins said he was part of Unicef’s programme which aims to provide “life-saving water, nutrition, health, education and child protection services”, adding that through the video, he wants to send out a message to people to “respond to the rising needs of children” by donating freely.

–IANS

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