CHENNAI: With India currently struggling with the second wave of Covid-19, former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has joined hands with his counterparts in Australia and Australian Indian Medical Association to provide medical equipment across the country. Among those involved in this project include former Australian cricketers Lisa Sthalekar, Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey.
The project got off to start after Dr Paddy Ramanathan reached out to Sivaramakrishnan in the first week of May. Since then they have covered a lot of ground, having collected $ (Aus) 20 million. Apart from Ramanathan, a few other doctors from Western Australia also contributed to the cause and have already shipped their first consignment to New Delhi for the Armed forces.
“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,” Sivaramakrishnan said.
With air travel suspended between Australia and India, they sent the first consignment via Singapore through a cargo flight. With the need for medical equipment increasing all over India, they are planning to send their next consignments to Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Apart from providing equipment, the cricketers and doctors also have plans to provide mental health support to those affected by Covid-19. “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,” he added.