As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, lakhs of families in India responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off electric lights and use diyas, candles and mobile flashlights instead at 9 pm for 9 minutes as a symbol of unity against the dreaded COVID-19.

The virus has already infected more than 3,500 people in the country and claimed 89 lives.

The Indian sports fraternity welcomed PM Modi’s call and embraced it with an overwhelming response on Sunday.

Among the first ones to respond to PM’s call and share it with the people was Virender Sehwag.

“In solidarity with each and every single person who is playing their part. We are all in this together and shall overcome this soon. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih #9बजे9मिनट,” the former Indian opener tweeted. 

Out of favour Indian batsman and Chennai Super Kings star Suresh Raina also took to Twitter to ‘stand in solidarity’. He shared a picture in which he can be seen lighting candles along with his wife Priyanka and daughter Gracia.

“#9बजे9मिनट, let’s stand is solidarity & beat this terrible time the whole world is going through. We can do it India! #COVID2019 #9baje9mintues
@PMOIndia @narendramodi,” the 33-year-old captioned the post.

Apart from them, R Ashwin also shared a video on social media in which his entire neighbourhood has switched off their lights and everyone has lighted diya.

“9 o clock 9 minutes!! #diyajalao,” Ashwin captioned the post.


The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar also took to Twitter to share the picture of his family responding to PM Modi’s call, switching off lights and lighting diyas at 9 pm on Sunday.

“My family & I thank the selfless #SanitationWarriors cleaning our surroundings & hospitals, disinfecting affected areas & thus keeping the virus at bay. Let’s also reignite our pledge to take care of our elders, the most vulnerable – by ensuring their physical & mental wellness,” Sachin captioned the post. 

Among several other sportspersons to pay heed to Modi’s call and stand in solidarity against COVID-19 are Manika Batra, Geeta Phogat, Hanuma Vihari, Ravi Shastri, KL Rahul, Mohammad Kaif and Bajrang Punia.

The Indian football team also shared a post as it stood with the nation in its fight against COVID-19.

“The #IndianFootball community stands together with the nation in its fight against #COVID19,” the team’s twitter page captioned the post.