Accompanying award-winning national players and coaches, Padma Shri awardee and ex-captain of the Indian Kabaddi team Ajay Thakur, has come together to rally for the mental health of kabaddi players across India. The event was held for the rising concern of mental health issues arising from the lockdown and physical preparedness for upcoming K7 tournaments, and the importance of helping players get back in shape physically and mentally. Many acclaimed and veteran players have showcased their presence in this event, namely BC Ramesh, Ashok Shinde, Rishank Devadiga, Indian Captain Deepak Niwas Hooda and veteran player Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Dronacharya Awardee coach Rambir Singh Khokhar.
The above-mentioned players and coaches will be a part of a special initiative Mann Ki Jeet which will be accessible to everyone and will support and guide young players with mental health issues. Besides the event, live interactive sessions have been hosted by former professional cricketer and sports presenter, Suhail Chandhok. Additionally, prominent industry psychiatrists and psychologists will address queries from 800+ kabaddi players from 90+ academies. Former Dean and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Bangalore, Dr Santosh Kumar Chaturvedi has also made his cordial presence along with other prominent doctors on board.
According to the official press release, Ajay Thakur, said, “I too have been suffering from anxiety and depression since the pandemic. I would now like to help young players participating in the K7 tournament realise their mental health issues and work around the same. This has been a hard time for all of us and I’m truly hoping that the upcoming events will rescue us from this dry run.”
“I’m so glad to see so many kabaddi community leaders coming together and joining forces to take up the cause to help the Kabaddi players’ ecosystem,” he added.
Whereas IPL presenter and Kabaddi expert analyst Suhail Chandhok said, “Kabaddi is the second most important sport in the country after cricket and deserves the due attention and recognition for players at India’s grassroot level. This initiative aims to break the stigma and assist kabaddi athletes in addressing the mental health issues that they might be facing, and in the process create a healthier ecosystem.”
However, while advising players who are looking to get back to the field, former Dean, and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Bangalore, Dr Santosh Kumar Chaturvedi said, “There is no health without mental health, and it is vital to have a stable and tranquil mind. Athletes must understand the importance of mental health in order to achieve maximum confidence and dexterity when going back to the field. If they identify any difficulties related to their mental health, they should address it immediately. They can reach out to friends, colleagues, coaches or professionals.”
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