Women Football
Hero IWL winning coach turns volunteer to help amidst COVID-19 pandemic
15 Apr 2020

By Soumo Ghosh,
AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: Hero Indian Women’s League-winning coach Priya PV of Gokulam Kerala FC has joined hands with other athletes and social workers to contribute to a helpline centre that aims at getting essential medical and food supplies to the people during the COVID-19 lockdown, in Kannur, Kerala.

Along with Priya PV, Jamshedpur FC attacker CK Vineeth has also joined the same helpline centre. The biggest challenge for those helping out at the helpline centre is to make sure that all requests for medicines are met.

“We have been getting around 150-200 calls every day. Most of these are for medicines. We make sure that whenever we get any requests for medicines, they are duly sent to those in need. No requests for medicines are ever turned down,” Priya who had earlier coached India U-19 stated.

“We try to do the same for grocery and food items as well. But sometimes we have to keep in mind that we have to distribute such items amongst a lot of people. So we try to divide it for everyone to get some amount,” she continued.

Besides, the call centre is also being attended by a horde of students and other professionals from around the area.

Kannur being the headquarters of the helpline centre, the likes of Priya and Vineeth also get a number of calls from the nearby districts, where tertiary networks have been set up to help the people.

“We are working from the headquarters in Kannur. There are tertiary helpline centres in different districts as well who have their own network of pharmacists, grocers, and delivery executives,” quipped Priya. “If we get a call from any of these districts, we forward the call to the respective helpline centre.”

Priya, who won the Hero IWL 2019-20 title as the head coach of local club Gokulam Kerala FC, however, is having to stay away from her loved ones, in order to keep contributing at the helpline centre.

“My ancestral home is a bit far from the call centre, so I am currently staying at a place that is close by. Initially, I wanted to go to my ancestral home every weekend, in order to make sure that my parents have all they need during the lockdown,” she said.

“The footballing calendar in India is quite packed, and those of us making a living out of the beautiful game do not get much chance to give back to society. The lockdown has awarded me the time that I can now use to help other people.”

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