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As IPL put on hold young Jharkhand batsmen Saurabh, Virat support PPL in steel city

This article was originally published in myKhel.com

Ranchi, May 16: Indian Premier League needs no introduction but ever heard of Plasma Premier League (PPL) or Telco Red Panthers? It is not 'Where talent meets opportunity' it believes in 'From warrior to saviour' and has support from state's young cricket talents of the likes of Saurabh Tiwary and Virat Singh.

At a time when hospitals in Pan-India are grappling with shortage of plasma and blood amid an exponential surge in COVID-19 cases during the second wave, here comes a tournament that begins on Sunday (May 16) - to collect plasma for people battling for their lives.

PPL is the brainchild of state BJP leader and former legislator Kunal Sarangi who says: 'So what if the IPL has been put on hold. Let's cheer and play together to save lives...Donate plasma, be a corona warrior.' Apart from the likes of Jharkhand batsmen Saurabh Tiwary and Virat Singh it has support from district administration and industry and no-profit bodies.

So far this PPL has nine teams ranging from Precious Plasma Tigers and Telco Red Panthers to 3S Donators, Helping Hands, Steel City Warriors and Jugsalai Mask.

There are others - Sunrise Superstar, Jamshedpur Kings and Rotaract 11.

'Each team scores six or four runs on a plasma donation or a blood donation. The plasma and blood collected through the drive goes to Jamshedpur blood bank at a time of crisis when there is scarcity,' PPL founder Sarangi said.

PPL has joined hands with voluntary body Namya, district administration and industry body CII's arm the Young Indians besides philanthropic body Marwari Yuva Manch in the noble drive.

The incentive the donors will get is "supply of plasma or blood when needed by them or any family member or friend".

The unique initiative has been pledged support by several Bollywood celebrities including Bhumi Pednekar, Sarangi said.

Notably, East Singhbhum occupies the second slot when it comes to COVID-19 deaths in the state, accounting for the highest number of deaths in the state after capital Ranchi.

Every week, a team which can ensure maximum plasma donation will be declared a winner.

Sarthak Agarwal, regional convenor of Marwari Yuva Manch said: "Whoever participates in this initiative in these tough times would not go unrecognised. Even if a diabetic comes or any other person, we will give runs to them.' 'Once the plasma donation drive kicks off, we intend to replicate it in the entire state so that patients have not to run around for plasma or blood," he said.

Battling a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government has extended the lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions,including seven days mandatory quarantine for people visiting the state, till May 27.

The state has suspended operation of intra and inter- city bus services and also capped people attending weddings at 11, lower from earlier 50 persons with a provision that marriages can be conducted either at homes or at courts.

The state's positive tally has climbed to 3,13,181 with 3,157 fresh cases while the death toll has reached 4,431.

The state could launch its 18 to 44 age group vaccination drive from May 14 owing to shortages of vaccines earlier.

The mortality rate in the state remained higher at 1.41 per cent as against the nation's 1.10 per cent while the recovery rate from the deadly virus stood at 85.37 per cent against India's 83.80 per cent.

The decision to impose lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions was taken at a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, chaired by Chief Minister Soren to curb the further spread of the deadly virus.

The new restrictions include mandatory 7 days home or institutional quarantine for people visiting the state barring those who will leave the state within 72 hours.

Operations of inter-state and intra-state buses have been suspended while private vehicles will have to obtain e- passes for plying.

Organising any ceremony during weddings will also be prohibited in the state.

Under the stricter provisions, social distancing norms will be implemented strictly.

The state has already prohibited all indoor and outdoor congregations of more than five persons.