Bengaluru: After interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has said the entire nation should work as one team to overcome the current crisis due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Friday (April 3), PM Modi had a video conference with over 40 top sportspersons of the country including Tendulkar, national cricket team captain Virat Kohli, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, badminton world champion PV Sindhu, and others.

Also read: PM Modi interacts with sports stars

PM Modi asked them to include five points in their message to people, ‘sankalp’ to fight the pandemic, ‘sanyam’ to follow social distancing, ‘sakaratmakta’ to maintain positivity, ‘samman’ to respect the frontline soldiers in this battle including the medical fraternity, the police personnel etc and ‘sahyog’ at personal level as well as at national level through contribution to PM-CARES fund. He also asked them to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularise guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.

Also read: List of cricketers who have donated to PM CARES Fund

After the meeting, Tendulkar said he will use “Namaste” to greet people and not shake hands with them.

In a statement, Tendulkar said, “I had an opportunity to speak with Shri Narendra Modi ji, Shri Kiren Rijiju ji and other sportspersons about our personal views and experiences of how we have been dealing with the lockdown. 

“Taking care of our elders who are most vulnerable and using this time to hear from them, their stories and experiences was something the Prime Minister resonated with. He highlighted and reaffirmed my belief that we should not let our guard down after the 14th of April, & how we manage that period will be very critical.”

He added, “I also suggested that as much as possible, I will use our way of greeting - saying ‘Namaste’ instead of shaking hands, even after we overcome this pandemic. We also spoke about mental fitness being as important as physical fitness during this phase, and shared what I’m doing at home to keep fit. This is the time for our entire nation to come together and keep each other motivated. Like team spirit wins us games in sports, our nation should work as one team to overcome this!”

Currently, India is under a 21-day lockdown. Several sportspersons including Tendulkar have urged people to stay at home to fight against the virus.