Kochi, With the country under lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19, Indian football star C.K. Vineeth has decided to help out those in his hometown Kannur, Kerala, by joining a government helpline centre.
The forward, who has played for the national team, and was part of the Jamshedpur FC in the 2019-20 edition of the Indian Super League, was contacted by the Kerala Sports Council about the helpline, and immediately jumped into the thick of the action.
"After I came back here, I got a call from the Kerala Sports Council, asking whether I would like to help with the COVID-19 helpline, so I joined in," Vineeth said to the-aiff.com, speaking from the helpline centre during his afternoon break. "Whatever little I could do to help during an emergency."
The 31-year-old, who is adored by fans, especially ones in his home state Kerala said that he intends to continue working at the helpline centre till the end of the lockdown.
"The plan is that we would continue this help-line till the dangers of the Coronavirus are averted, and the lockdown comes to an end. The situation in Kerala is much-improved now, of course," the winger added.
Though Vineeth and his co-workers at the helpline centre are not exactly directly in touch with people who may carry the virus, they are taking all the precautions, in order to not contract it.
"Of course, we are following the guidelines prescribed by the Government, while commuting to and from the call-centre," said Vineeth. "We are provided with gloves, masks, and sanitisers, which we use quite often. But those of us working here are not exactly exposed. We all just go home, and come here."
The Jamshedpur FC forward feels that the curve has indeed flattened in Kerala, with the number of cases going down over time. The number of calls that he has been getting have also decreased, since the time he started working at the call-centre (March 28).
"Before, we used to get over 150 calls per day. Now, that number has gone down a lot. The number of cases are also going down in the state. We just need to stay strong and wade through these troubled times," Vineeth quipped.
"I would like to urge everyone to stay at home and follow the Government's guidelines. It's a good time to spend with your family. Stay safe people, and take care."