On the home stretch of his innings as a Member of Parliament of the Rajya Sabha, Sachin Tendulkar has upped the ante to get sports included as a mandatory subject in every school in India. Cutting across political lines and as a first step, Tendulkar is presenting every MP a booklet that contains the life story of some 20 sporting legends of India.
“We can have at least 500 such inspirational stories. If the next generation gets encouraged and plays sport, India will become an economically stronger nation by 2030,” said Tendulkar in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times on Thursday.
The 55-page booklet titled “Unforgettable sporting heroes and legends of India” contains the profiles of such greats as Dhyan Chand, Milkha Singh, Prakash Padukone, Ajit Wadekar, PK Banerjee, Mary Kom, et al. The Vice-president of India and the HRD ministry were given a copy on December 21 when Congress MPs bowled out Tendulkar’s maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha.
“The HRD and sports ministries are working on this already. It’s my dream to see sports being treated on a par with physics, maths or history. It’s my endeavour to change the mindset, and if we can build a healthy generation, we would have saved India from an economic disaster,” said Tendulkar, who will ‘retire’ as a nominated MP on April 26, 2018.
“Many of my fans are now young parents. If they get motivated by the stories of our old heroes and ask their children to take up a sport in school, they would have given me my greatest gift. It’s like scoring a dream hundred again,” said Tendulkar, highlighting that all work (read study) and no play, will push India – the diabetes capital of the world – to a point of no return.