A day after Sachin Tendulkar was unable to deliver his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha, the legendary cricketer took to Facebook and shared his vision of a healthy India. In the Facebook video, Sachin threw light on the importance of sports and fitness in India and how “unhealthy India is a recipe for disaster”.
Urging his fans to “transform India from being a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation”, he said,
It is my endeavour to transform India from being a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. I urge you all to participate in this effort and help make my dream, our dream. Always remember, dreams do come true.
Speaking about how his father encouraged him whole-heartedly to pursue his passion, the Master Blaster said,
There were some things yesterday that I wanted to communicate to you. I will try doing that here. I often wonder what brought me here, little did I realise that those baby steps in cricket would lead me to great lifetime memories. I always loved playing sport and cricket was my life. My father, Prof Ramesh Tendulkar, was a poet and a writer. He always supported me and encouraged me to do what I wanted in life. The greatest gift I got from him was freedom to play, the right to play and I will always be grateful for that.
Besides emphasising the importance of a healthy India, Sachin also mentioned pressing issues like poverty and food security. He said,
There are many pressing matters in our country which require our attention – economic growth, poverty, food security, health care among many others. Being a sportsman, I am going to talk on sports, health and fitness of India for it has a telling impact on our economy. My vision is a healthy and fit India.
India is set to emerge as the youngest average age nation in the world by 2020. So the assumption is that young is fit. But we are wrong. We are the diabetic capital of the world with over 75 million people being affected by this desease. And when it comes to obesity, we are sitting at number three in the world. The economic burden of these deseases will not allow our nation to progress.
According to a UN report, the impact on the Indian economy of non-communicable diseases from 2012-2030 will be 6.3 trillion US Dollars which is Rs 4,00,00,000 crore. Yes, you heard that right. But we can get this number down. If we all try to stay fit, exercise or play a sport, a lot of this can change. But for that, we need a plan to help us become a sporting nation.