IPL 2021: As the IPL 2021 had to be suspended due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India, many cricketers including India skipper Virat Kohli came forward to help those affected by the deadly virus that has cost over 3 lakh lives in the country alone. It’s not just the active cricketers like Kohli or Hanuma Vihari who are helping out, the commentators and former cricketers have also come forward. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan is the latest name to come to the light as he is partnering former Australia greats Michael Hussey, Mathew Hayden and Lisa Sthalekar in the fight.
The former India leg-spinner, who was in IPL 2021 commentary team, has teamed up with Aussies and the Australian Indian Medical Association (AIMA) to provide medical equipment across India in the time of need. As per a New Indian Express report, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was approached by Dr Paddy Ramanathan, founder of AIMA in the first week of May and since then they have steadily increased medical supplies, raising over AUD 20 million.
Apart from Mathew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Lisa Sthalekar, many doctors in Western Australia have contributed to the cause. “As all of us can see, the country is reeling in these tragic times. So, all of us wanted to help in whatever way we can. As soon as they came to know about the dire situation, the Indian doctors’ fraternity in Western Australia came together. We have already handed over the first consignment of ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other vital equipment to the Central government,” Laxman Sivaramakrishnan told TNIE.
The initiative has already shipped the first consignment of medical supplies from Australia to New Delhi for the Armed forces. However, the process hasn’t been easy with Australia’s travel ban for India that lifted on May 15. However, the former cricketers along with Dr Ramanathan managed to send the medical supplies via Singapore through a cargo flight. Few more consignments are due to arrive in Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai in the coming days.
It is not just helping with medical equipment and supplies though, Mathew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Lisa Sthalekar besides Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and others have also devised plans to provide mental health support to many COVID-19 victims.
“Many of them have lost their family and in some cases, they are not able to come out of the trauma they suffered. So we have plans to help them with the support to recover. Once this phase ends, there are plans to conduct sessions to take care of mental health,” Laxman Sivaramakrishnan added.