Sachin Tendulkar has passionately compiled biographies of 21 famous and little-known sportspersons whose stories of struggles and successes he believes should be included in school curriculum to inspire children and develop a stronger sporting culture.
The Little Master, who is an MP, has compiled short biographies in a 50-page booklet titled Unforgettable Sporting Heroes and Legends of India. He shared it with Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on December 21 after ruckus in the House that day denied Tendulkar an opportunity to make his maiden speech. He had planned to speak on some key issues about sports.
The booklet is meant for distribution among only members of Parliament, but Mumbai Mirror has had exclusive access.
"You must inculcate a culture of sport to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a sport-playing country rather than a sportloving one. The idea here is that sporting heroes inspire the youth. When their stories become part of our educational system, it becomes that much easier to follow them," Tendulkar told Mirror.
"India has produced thousands of great sporting heroes. I could not have written about all of them. That said, there can be sporting heroes at the district and state level who may not have achieved recognition as much as he or she should have. Their stories, too, can be part of the school books," he said.
Some short biographies from Sachin's booklet:
DHYAN CHAND, hockey great
His family settled in Jhansi and he joined the British Indian Army only at the age of 16 and was selected to play for the army team. The Hindi word 'Chand' literally means the moon. After finishing his duty hours, he used to practice at night. In those eras there was no concept of floodlights at the grounds. Dhyan Singh used to wait for the moon to bloom so that he could practice at night. Hence his teammates started calling him as 'Chand'.
Chand had high fever before the allimportant final (In 1936 Olympic final in Berlin) match and initially did not feature in the starting line-up. But the skipper decided to play. The ground was wet, and Dhyan Chand took the field without his spiked shoes and played barefooted. What the entire stadium witnessed was no less than magic. India defeated Germany by 8 goals to 1 to clinch the gold medal thrice in a row.
LESLIE CLAUDIUS, hockey icon
Leslie Claudius shares with Udham Singh the rare distinction of being the only two Indian athletes to win four Olympic medals.
Leslie Claudius was the first ever international player in hockey to earn 100 caps. In 1960 he retired from the international arena but continued to play the domestic matches till 1965. Even after his retirement from the international hockey Claudius played the domestic matches with equal enthusiasm and energy. In those days the hockey players hardly used to earn any money in club matches but Leslie's passion for the game kept him associated with it for five years even after his retirement from the international stage.
PK BANERJEE, Ex-footballer
Giants of Indian football like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal made several offers to PK to leave the Railway job and join the club as a professional footballer but, PK had to fulfil responsibility of seven sailings and other family members, so he resisted the temptations.
But, footballer by heart, PK kicked ahead on the football development track helping India to shine at the international level. After wearing the national colours in 1955, PK never looked back and went on to win trophies and scored memorable goals.
ARUNIMA SINHA, amputee mountaineer
Arunima was travelling from her hometown Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi to appear for an exam to become, a member of India's Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards, among other things, India's airports. On the train, she had to fight a robbery attempt. The robbers then pushed her off the train, between Chenati and Bareilly railway stations. She fell on the adjacent track where another moving train hit her and injured her leg and head badly. She was taken to AIIMS where the doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee to save her life. At 10.55 am on May 21, 2013, two years after she had been pushed off the train, Arunima stood atop the highest peak in the world. She was the first the first female in the world to do so an artificial leg. It took her 52 days to the top and back.
ANITA SHEORAN, wrestler
At the 2009 National Wrestling Championship in Bhopal, Sheoran, the 2008 National Championships silver medallist in the 59-kg category, participated in the 63-kg freestyle event. Her decision to shift to the higher weight class proved fruitful as she defeated the defending national champion Geetika Jakhar in the final to become the new champion in the women's 63 kg freestyle event. Later in the year, she participated at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, where she settled for silver medal after losing to the World Championships medallist Justine Bouchard of Canada.
SACHIN HAS ALSO WRITTEN ABOUT: PT Usha, Bishan Singh Bedi, EAS Prasanna, BS Chandrashekhar, Anju Bobby George, Anjali Bhagawat, Rajyavardhan Rathore
Courtesy : Mumbai Mirror