Australian cricketer Pat Cummins says he has allocated his $50,000 donation to UNICEF Australia’s India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal. Earlier, Cummins had pledged the amount to India’s PM-CARES Fund.
NRI Affairs Desk
“I ended up allocating my donation to UNICEF Australia’s India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal,” Cummins tweeted on Monday.
He had donated a whopping $50,000 to the PM-Cares Fund to purchase oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals.
The cricketing fraternity and many Indians have praised him for his ‘kind’ gesture but many from the civil society had criticised his move questioning the accountability of the fund.
“The PM-Cares fund that Cummins donated to has been repeatedly found ethically wanting in its purpose, intent and accountability by Indian investigative media. It has been associated with corrupt practices, and the Indian PM himself has proclaimed it above public oversight,” Melbourne-based activist Mudit Vyas had written.
Nairobi-based development professional Suvojit Chattopadhyay tweeted, “Great gesture. But please consider donating to a more transparent and accountable mechanism and not PM CARES. PM CARES is opaque and not fit for purpose.”
On Monday, Pat Cummins said that he had allocated the donation to UNICEF Australia’s India COVID-19 Crisis Appeal without citing any reason.
Mudit Vyas welcomes the move.
“It is good to know that Cricket Australia and its international players are listening to the Indian community and paying heed to their concerns. It Is concerning though that the understanding of the nuances of Indian politics is so negligible in primarily white institutions,” Mr Vyas told NRI Affairs.
UNICEF Australia has thanked Pat Cummins for his generous gesture.
“Thanks so much for your support. It will help us to reach the most vulnerable in India with oxygen and emergency supplies,” tweeted UNICEF Australia, replying to a tweet by Mr Cummnis.
Cricket Australia is raising funds to help India, devastated by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Australian Cricket has been deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the second coronavirus wave to hit India, a country with which Australians share a strong friendship and connection. Australians and Indians share a special bond, and, for many, our mutual love of Cricket is central to that friendship.”
“It has been distressing and saddening to learn of the suffering of so many of our Indian sisters and brothers, and our hearts go out to everyone impacted,” Cricket Australia has said in its appeal.
India is in a grip of deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Over 218,000 people have lost their lives in the country, according to official reports.