New Delhi: Former legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has highlighted the need for ending child labour and child slavery. Calling children as unpolished diamonds, he said, “millions of children in India and abroad do not get what they desire and deserve.”
Praising the Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi for his fight against child slavery over many years, Tendulkar also shared his concern for the healthy growth of children. “After retiring from cricket, the first responsibility I took was to become ambassador for UNICEF’s handwash campaign,” he said.
Talking about his role as UNICEF ambassador for hand wash and sanitation, Tendulkar said that this was the first responsibility he undertook after retiring from cricket. “The first part of my life was devoted to cricket, and it was after a lot of hard work that I became successful. The second innings started 13 months ago as the UNICEF ambassador,” he said.
Tendulkar assured that he would give his fullest commitment as the UN envoy for children’s hygiene. “People would have a committed Sachin Tendulkar. I will try my level best and this would not be a disappointing exercise ,” he said.
Stressing on the need for spreading the message on cleanliness far and wide, Tendulkar said awareness is an important tool for disseminating such information in our families and nighbourhood. “It usually happens that parents and grandparents learn a lot from their children. It is up to us, our families and elders to mould their lives. Children grasp everything that adults do and learn from them.”
Tendulkar said that with proper facilities, physically challenged children can also realise their dreams. “I saw great talent in remote parts of the country. “We can do a lot better for these children by providing them proper facilities but they seem content with what they have. They make the most of it, taking positive steps, to get ahead in life,” he said.
Sachin also recalled his experience of campaigning with the visually challenged and physically handicapped children. “The best way of spreading the message across was to start a cricket match with the visually challenged students. It was fascinating to see them play and it gave me goose bumps. During the hand washing session, I made them promise me to take proper care to wash their hands,” he said.
Sharing his childhood passion of winning a world cup, he said, “I have had personal goals and dreams of being a cricket player and winning the world cup. I had the freedom to take decisions and play as much as I wanted. I am standing here due to family support and owe everything to them,” he said.