Sachin Tendulkar Wants Right to Play – but What Is It?

Sachin talked about his vision of a healthy India and raised the issue of India being diabetes capital of the world

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After Sachin Tendulkar was unable to speak in the Rajya Sabha due to an uproar by the opposition, he took it to Facebook to deliver his speech. In a 15-minute-long video, the ‘Master Blaster’ said that he had wanted to raise the issue of financial security for national level athletes in the Parliament in what was supposed to be his debut speech.

Financial security is often a challenge when any sportsperson decides to focus on sports alone as their career. I am aware that the Government, through it’s many institutions, employs sportspersons and supports them, which we all appreciate. But we have many national, state and district level retired athletes who don’t have a proper job.
Sachin Tendulkar, Rajya Sabha MP

He further added that while ensuring the financial stability of the retired athletes, we must also keep their minds engaged. Their skills and passion for sports would be best utilised for coaching the future generation sportsperson in their respective field, Tendulkar said. Incidentally, Tendulkar had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting inclusion of international medallists in the Central Government Health Scheme.

Right To Play

Sachin also requested the lawmakers to consider amending the Free and Compulsory Education Bill of 2009 by adding ‘Right to Play’ along with ‘Right to Free Education’.

My father, Prof Ramesh Tendulkar, always supported me and encouraged me to be what I wanted to be in life. The greatest gift that I got from him was freedom to play, the right to play. In 2009, this House passed the Free and Compulsory Education Bill. It’s my suggestion that the bill be amended to include the Right to Play.
Sachin Tendulkar, Rajya Sabha MP

The iconic batsman further added that sports can be considered an essential and mandated part of curriculum and consequently, each life should get the Right to Play at school.

Tendulkar cited the examples of national level hockey player Nauri Mundu from Jharkhand, who doubles up as a teacher and works on a farm to make ends meet, along with Sita Sahu, a medallist at the Special Olympics in Athens in 2011, who is selling 'golgappas' to manage her life.

Sportspersons who won the gold, silver and bronze medals for India, do we appreciate them enough? These champions, our heroes, didn’t have the best of everything, but they made the best of everything. I think it is extremely important that youngsters learn about our sporting history.
Sachin Tendulkar, Rajya Sabha MP

Tendulkar also talked about his vision of a healthy and a fit India, besides raising the issue of India being the diabetes capital of the world with over 75 million people affected by the disease.

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

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