Imphal, May 24 (IANS) Former India football team midfielder Renedy Singh is alarmed at the growing number of Covid-19 cases in his home state Manipur and is busy arranging oxygen cylinders for the needy.
“It is a difficult time for everyone. Our frontline workers have been working tirelessly. It was high time we stepped in to try and assist in any way possible. We have friends from different fields like doctors, police officers, IAS officers, businessmen — all of whom have joined the campaign to help,” said the 41-year-old Renedy, who played for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during his illustrious career.
“Manipuri people, who are currently overseas, as well as people from Manipur and all over the country all have come forward and are contributed in whatever way they can. We are trying to buy oxygen cylinders and hand them over to those who are in need, especially the frontline workers.”
Renedy said the state’s geographical location isn’t helping either, as getting relief to the Northeastern state is difficult.
“Manipur is a little cut off from other places because of the pandemic. Our government is trying its best but everything takes time. We have three oxygen plants in the state but the capacity is not much. Hospitals have been unable to increase oxygen beds as well.
“Our first aim is to gather empty and full oxygen cylinders and supply those to hospitals. Acquiring oxygen concentrators is also in pipeline,” says Renedy, who made 72 appearances for the India team between 1998 and 2011 and took up coaching after retirement.
“We started this campaign three days ago and the response has been remarkable. It is difficult to donate during this tough time but if someone is in a better state, I would request him/her to help. I was born here and it is my duty to do what is in my power for my state,” he said.