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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Not all heroes wear capes, but their indomitable challenger spirit undeniably makes them unique and separates them from the rest. Bringing stories of such real challengers who have inspired everyone in these times of Covid-19, players of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) paid homage to every Covid hero and decided to sport ‘My Covid Heroes’ jersey throughout the Indian Premiere League (IPL) tournament as a mark of tribute to all those who have strived to make the world a better place during the pandemic.

Of the many Covid heroes praised by RCB, one name that grabbed the attention of the people of Odisha was Nilachala Parida - a mountaineer from Bhubaneswar’s Delta chowk area who has been selling vegetables outside his house post enforcement of a nation-wide lockdown. He is doing so to raise funds to help government in this Covid battle and also support his family.

As a mark of respect, RCB all-rounder Chris Morris not only changed his Twitter handle name to Nilachala Parida but wore a jersey dedicated to the Covid hero from Odisha.

Thanking the team for this wonderful gesture, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter and said, “Appreciate Chris Morris and RCB for showcasing the selfless work of people like Nilachala Parida of Odisha at the grand stage of IPL-2020. These good samaritans inspire the society to stand up for those affected the most by the pandemic.”

Interestingly, it was not just Morris who paid such a tribute to India’s Covid-warriors, but all RCB players including their captain Virat Kohli joined the team in honouring the fighters. While Kohli changed his name to Simranjeet Singh, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal also wore special ‘My Covid Heroes’ jerseys and changed Twitter profile names to Paritosh Pant and Dr Sachin Nayak, respectively. It is being said that all these jerseys will be later auctioned, and the fund generated would be utilised in the fight against the pandemic.


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