Never imagined getting a hospital bed would be so difficult: Hanuma Vihari talks about his own COVID-19 aid team | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Crushing the pain barrier to save a test match is by no means a small feat, but for Hanuma Vihari the greatest satisfaction these days comes from being able to fit out a hospital bed or bottles of oxygen for desperate COVID-19 patients via a network of friends.
The increase in the number of deaths and cases during the second wave of the pandemic has created an unprecedented health crisis where social media has become an important tool for seeking and providing emergency aid.
Many Indian cricketers have done their part, ranging from financial donations to helping people get essential medical care.
Vihari, while in the UK for his stint in the county, used his Twitter handle to amplify calls for help. He also created a team of 100 volunteers, including friends and followers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Much like Congress leader BV Srinivas in New Delhi, friends and followers of Vihari reached out to people with plasma, oxygen cylinders, and arranged food and hospital beds for patients.
“I don’t want to boast. I do this with the intention of helping people at ground level, who genuinely need all the help they can get in these difficult times. This is just the start,” he said. said the 27-year-old. PTI in an exclusive interview.
Vihari left for England in early April to play in the English county of Warwickshire and is expected to join the Indian squad directly in the UK when they arrive on 3 June.
Vihari, like all Indians, was shocked by the obstacles COVID-19 patients and their families faced on a daily basis. The challenges have been to find something as basic as hospital beds, oxygen supplies and essential drugs.
“With the second wave being so strong, getting a bed became a challenge and that’s something that is unthinkable. So, I decided to use my followers as my volunteers and help as many people as possible, Vihari, who has more than 110,000 followers, said.
“My goal is actually to reach mainly people who cannot afford or obtain plasma, beds and essential drugs. But that is not enough. I would like to render more services to the future, ”said the man who has 624 races in 11 tests.
For Vihari, when the distress calls and help messages started pouring in, he wanted to create a network of aid givers and he found that support from ordinary people, his own family and fellow aid givers. Andhra as Prithviraj Yarra.
“I built my own team. It’s all about good intentions and people are inspired and come to help me.
“I have about 100 people on a WhatsApp group as volunteers and it’s their hard work that we’ve been able to help a few people. Yes I am a well known cricketer but I can help with their tireless efforts to reach the afflicted, ”says Vihari.
He started out on Twitter, but his team has now spread to various platforms to help and when he’s not up against a Stuart Broad or Olly Stone in the cold, biting English weather, he personally makes sure that he and his friends are investigating all calls for help.
“I started out as such and now we have a lot of friends on different platforms thanks to my social media followers. I send them requests that I get and they do the research. I participate if referrals are needed. or to post on social media, ”Vihari said mentioned.
“Even my wife, sister and a few of my Andhra teammates are part of my volunteer team. It’s so encouraging to see their support,” Vihari said.
I can do anything for the team, even open up if I am asked to do it again
Speaking about India’s upcoming tour of England, Vihari said that if he was invited to open at some point during the five-test round, he wasn’t opposed to the idea.
“I’ll do whatever the team asks me to do,” said the man who punched for three and a half hours with a torn hamstring to save Sydney’s test against Australia earlier this year.
“I’ve been out there for most of my career so I know the challenge well,” added Vihari.
He had opened for India in the 2018-19 test series in Australia.
Vihari knows full well that Washington Sundar grabbed his chances in his forced injury absence, but he is keen to focus on his own game.
“I’m glad he (Washington) did well but I would like to focus on my own game and try to control the controllers,” said the soft-spoken man.
But what about rolling your arms more to give that balance to the side, he replied, “I’m working on my breaks.”
Vihari was signed on to play three games for Warwickshire and his best show was scores of 32 and 52 against Essex at Edgbaston, with Alastair Cook in the opposition ranks.
“It has been difficult because it is the start of the season, but I have gained a good experience. Getting used to the climate and the grounds here is the idea. I hope it helps in the WTC final. against New Zealand and the series against England, ”he said.
Having enjoyed a successful tour of the UK in 2018, followed by half a century of his Oval test debut, Vihari enjoys playing in England and the challenges one faces while countering seams and swing. .
“It’s a good place to play cricket. So I would appreciate the challenge,” he said.
Vihari is still in Birmingham doing his daily activities and one thing he is getting used to is the cold and wet conditions of the start of the English summer.
“It’s tough in this cold, but again it’s a different experience. Yes, I still train in Birmingham,” he concluded.

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