Bengaluru: The second wave of the coronavirus has hit India hard. The number of positive cases has increased. People have been struggling to find hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. 

During such a time, the ministry of youth affairs and sports, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have come forward to lend a helping hand to ex-international players and coaches. 

As per a statement put out by the sports ministry, these athletes and coaches can put forward their requirements for medical aid, oxygen, hospitalisation and other support on an online platform ( 

The representatives of these bodies at the state level have also been asked to assist applicants from every State.

Union minister of youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju said, "We stand by those who have contributed to sport in India all their lives and have brought laurels to the country. These are tough times and we want to ensure that our ex athletes or coaches have a full support system to fight the Covid 19 pandemic. I am very happy about this joint initiative that has been taken by the Government and IOA. I am confident we will be able to help those in need."

Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, IOA said, "The sporting fraternity of India is one big family and in these trying times it is impending on each of us to support the other. I thank Shri Rijiju for taking this initiative forward along with the IOA. I am hopeful that we will be able to assist many ex athletes and coaches who need support right now". 

The statement also notes that financial help will be given to these players to augment their needs. These funds will be given from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS).