THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Renedy Singh’s crucial assist helps Manipur breathe

File picture of former India midfielder Renedy Singh. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

During his prime Renedy Singh was well known for his ability to put in inch-perfect balls for the strikers inside the box. His penchant for assisting the team when the chips are down has not changed even after a decade of having last played for the Blue Tigers.

Renedy is currently working relentlessly to arrange oxygen cylinders to help his home state of Manipur win the deadly battle against COVID-19.

“It is a difficult time for everyone. Our frontline workers have been working tirelessly. It was high time we stepped in to try and assist in any way possible. We have friends from different fields like doctors, police officers, IAS officers, businessmen – all of whom have joined the campaign to try and help,” the former midfielder revealed.

“Manipuri people, who are currently overseas, as well as people from Manipur and all over the country all have come forward and are contributing in whatever way they can. We are trying to buy oxygen cylinders and hand them over to those who are in need and especially frontline workers.”

The ground reality at the moment in the Northeastern state makes for grim reading with the fatality rate on the rise. And the state’s location is also not helping matters.

“Manipur is a little cut off from other places because of the pandemic. Our government is trying its level best but everything takes time. We have 3 oxygen plants in the state but the capacity is not much. Hospitals have been unable to increase oxygen beds as well.”

He added: “Our first aim is gathering empty, as well as full oxygen cylinders and supplying those to hospitals. Acquiring oxygen concentrators is also in the pipeline.”

The need for oxygen cylinders is going up by the day and ensuring a smooth flow is the primary aim. That means stockpiling more cylinders for the future.

“The requirement of cylinders is approximately around 1000-1500 per day. The government of Manipur has centralized all donations through a common channel, the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. We’re also contributing to the same.”

An emotional Renedy also appealed to everyone to come forward and ensure that the Northeastern state does not face the same predicament as the country’s metro cities witnessed. So far, the response has been encouraging and the 41-year-old hopes to see more people coming forward to join his fight.

“We started this campaign three days ago and the response has been remarkable. It is difficult to donate during this tough time but if someone is in a better state, I would request him/her to help,” he stated.

“I was born here and it is my duty to do what is in my power for my beautiful state. It is a difficult time for everyone. Our frontline workers have been working really hard in Manipur. It will be great if the people can come up and help, donating whatever they can to help the people who are struggling or suffering badly.”

(Sruti Chakraborty / AIFF Media)