Some athletes are donating money, some others are helping in providing essentials to the needy, but Asian Games gold-winning rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal took a more hands on approach while helping people amid the COVID-19 pandemic by sanitising his village in Nashik.
The 29-year-old used a fertiliser sprayer to carry out the sanitisation drive in his village Talegaon Ruhi, which is part of Chandvad tehsil on Sunday last. He said it took around four hours to complete the task.
"Me, my family and some friends decided to sanitise the village, which has a population of about 12,000," Bhokanal told PTI from over phone.
Nashik is not as aggressively affected by the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged Maharashtra. The region has just over 30 cases and a death toll of 2 in all with the Chandvad tehsil reportng just one case.
Bhokanal's village is, however, completely unaffected by the deadly outbreak so far.
Overall, the pandemic has claimed 339 lives in India where the number of positive cases has surged past the 10,000 mark. In Maharashtra, the total number of cases have gone past 2,000.
Bhokanal was on leave to visit the village when the nationwide lockdown, now extended till May 3, forced him to stay longer than he was supposed to.
Making use of the time at hand, he carried out the sanitisation drive with his brother, uncle and a friend to help him out.
"Sanitisation of any area is important to keep the virus at bay. For example, when a person visits a doctor's clinic, he might touch the pole or the walls inside that clinic. Therefore we thought sanitisation of the clinic was essential alogn with several other places," he explained.
The acclaimed rower, who is a silver-medallist from the Asian Championships, said a spraying machine lying at his home for agricultural usage, came in handy.
"We sanitised the places people frequent like the government clinic, veterinary clinic, gram panchayat office, its gates," informed the rower.
Bhokanal said he and his family also sanitised medical shops, temples and the local vegetable market.
He said he would continue to carry out this drive twice a week.
With the entire sporting calendar shredded due to the pandemic, rowing has also been affected.
Bhokanal said working out at home has helped him in shape and be ready for when the action resumes.