When Tendulkar helped Indian wheelchair cricket team realise its dream

Life can be harsh and test someones willpower with all its severity. But if there is perseverance, it can force open the doors also.

Ask Somjeet Singh or squadron leader Abhay Partab Singh.

They are part of an Indian cricket team — the Indian wheelchair cricket team, which successfully completed its first international tour of Bangladesh. It was their dream to wear the national jersey but they also needed a dream merchant.

Enter Sachin Tendulkar, who knew how it feels to wear that blue jersey.

A month back, 36-year-old Pradeep Raj, who is the secretary of the Wheelchair Cricket India (WCI), was trying to raise funds to the tune of Rs 6.5 lakh so that the Indian team could travel to Bangladesh for a bilateral series.

It was then the idea of writing to Tendulkar crossed his mind.

“Despite my best efforts, I could only get only one sponsor, who gave Rs 2 lakh. I had knocked many doors for our wheelchair team but to no avail. I had Sachin sirs email address as during my days as a para-athlete (he was a cricketer and then a para TT player), I had e-mailed him. This time also I mailed Sachin sir asking for help,” Raj told PTI during an interaction.

“To my pleasant surprise, his office got in touch with me within three days and in next few days, he donated the outstanding Rs 4.5 lakh. Without his help, the Indian Wheelchair cricket team would have had to cancel their trip to Bangaldesh. The financial help provided by him went a long way in booking air tickets for the 19-member team,” Raj said.

 

Source : India Today

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