Soccer Volunteers Reach Out to Seniors

BENGALURU: Like him Garden City struggles to break the coronavirus chain with a 21-day blockade, the football The fraternity in the state capital is preparing to assist seniors through its network comprising past and current players, umpires and officials.

A group of almost 35-40 volunteers has been associated with the Karnataka State Football Association ( KSFA ) to ensure that the elderly confined to their homes and others receive their share of medicines and essential products

We have a big network of players, coaches, referees and officials covering most parts of the city. Starting Friday (April 3) our aim is to reach out to the needy who are finding it difficult to step out of their houses to buy medicines or essential items. We are ready to buy these items on their behalf, KSFA secretary M Satyanarayan told TOI.

He said the association, with the help of its president and Shantinagar MLA NA Haris, has got a few passes that would help the volunteers in their task. KSFA will approach the police for more passes if the demand increases.

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The official clarified that the idea is not to provide free food or supplies.

We are providing our helpline numbers for those in need. We are not here to distribute anything for free or to provide financial assistance, but to help older people and those who cannot leave our volunteers, the official said.

Once the caller is screened and found genuine, our people in that location will go home and do the work. We have told our volunteers to keep some money with them. They can use it to buy the items and the invoice amount can then be collected from residents, he added.

Those who have joined the initiative include former state players Gopal, Sunil, Vinod and Saravana. Also in the mix are former players in the state women's team Thilakavathi, Mamatha, referee Mohan and women's referee Harsha besides the KSFA members.

Volunteers to take precautions

Satyanarayan said the volunteers were informed to take all precautions. They have been asked to wear masks and gloves. If we find out that any of the callers are sick, we will alert health authorities, he said.

On Thursday, some of the volunteers toured the city and distributed food packages to various locations. Today we supply food to about 80 people in different areas, from Ulsoor to Cox Town and Cunningham Road. We saw some hungry people on the way and we gave them to them. From Friday we will only answer calls, he said.