Tennis sensation Sania Mirza has been vocal about promoting Indian brands in her bid to help the country strive towards becoming self-reliant amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has taken a toll on the world’s economy at large.

Sania has come forward to encourage the local brands in India. The ace tennis player took to her social media and announced an initiative called ‘#SupportSmallBySania’, calling out to brands, designers, craftsmen, properties, restaurants etc. Sania will be choosing 20 of her favourite picks out of those and will give them a shoutout, a statement said.

“Life as we knew it has changed forever. The only way to overcome this to stand together and help revive our people and our country from the virus’ aftermath,” Sania said in the statement on Monday.

Talking about her initiative to encourage Indian brands, the 33-year old added: “#SupportSmallBySania is my humble attempt to encourage Indian brands — designers, craftsmen, properties, restaurants — anything and everything that’s created in our country. It’s my small way of lending support to our people because it’s only when we come together we will win against the virus that has kept us apart.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the country to be self-reliant previously, while at the same time welcoming foreign capital and strengthening of supply chains.

According to the Prime Minister, it is now the time to make India self-sufficient in every way and every Indian should buy and promote local goods.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and the sporting arena is no exception. Most of the high profile tournaments including the Tokyo Olympics 2020 stand postponed.

Even the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet, the Indian Premier League (IPL), stands suspended indefinitely owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Bundesliga became the first high-profile sporting event to resume after a 65 day period with almost no sporting activity.

The move comes after governments are beginning to realise that the coronavirus is here to stay for quite some time and sports among other businesses will need to find a way to co-exist with it.

The virus has already infected more than 6 million people around the world while claiming over 3.7 lakh lives. There is still no sure shot treatment of the disease and social-distancing, self-isolation and maintenance of basic hand hygiene remain the only potent weapons of protecting oneself from contracting the infection.

(With inputs from IANS)