Here’s Sachin Tendulkar’s speech which was interrupted in Rajya Sabha yesterday
A day after cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, also a Rajya Sabha MP, was not allowed to speak about his vision on the future of sports in India and ‘right to play’ in the Upper House of the Parliament, the legendary batsman shared his thoughts on the same in a YouTube video.
A day after the incident, the 44-year-old took to social media to deliver his speech as he posted a video of the same on youtube and shared it across various social media platforms.
“Namaste to my fellow Indians. Yesterday there were a few things which I wanted to convey to you all but couldn’t do it. So I will try to do that today.
“I often wonder what brought me here. Little that I realise that those baby steps in cricket would lead me to a great lifetime of memories. I always loved playing sport and cricket was my life. My father, Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, was a poet and a writer. He always supported me and encouraged me to be what I wanted to be in life. The greatest gift I got from him was the freedom to play. The right to play. And I would always be grateful to him for that.
“There are many pressing matters in our country which requires our attention. Economic growth, poverty, food security, healthcare among many others. Being a sportsman I’m 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. ‘Jab swasthya hai yuva, tab desh mein kuch hua (when the youth is healthy, then the only the country can progress)’. India is set to emerge as the youngest average age nation in the world by 2020. So the assumption is, ‘yeh young hai to fit hai (they are young so they must be fit)’.
“But we are wrong. We are the diabetic capital of the world with over 75 million people being affected by this disease. And when it comes obesity, we are sitting at No. 3 spot in the world. The economic burden of these diseases will not allow our nation to progress. According to a UN report, the impact on the Indian economy of non-communicable diseases from 2012 to 2030 will be USD 6.3 trillion. But we all can bring this figure down together. If we all work towards taking care of our health and fitness. If we can exercise, play some sport then a lot can change for us. But I feel for that to happen we need a plan to help us become a sporting nation to change our sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy mindset.
“Our fitness sessions are getting lighter and eating sessions are getting heavier. We need to change this habit. I feel that in this mobile-phone generation we are all turning immobile.
“Many of us only discuss but we don’t play at all. We need to transform India from a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. Make everyone more active and participative. Inculcate and develop a sporting culture in our country. The northeast of India which has only 4% population of India has a vibrant sporting culture. It has produced many sporting heroes including our boxing icon Mary Kom, recently-crowned champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, Dipa Karmakar, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sarita Devi, Sanjita Chanu and many many more.
“Sport promotes social harmony. President Nelson Mendela’s efforts to use the Rugby World Cup in South Africa’s journey to become an inclusive state is legendary. Sport has a unique way of building a nation. It builds character for individuals. And character for individuals means character for India. From being a naughty child to chasing the dream to win the World Cup for India, I became more disciplined and more focussed. I had a goal and I started planning for it. But the most important aspect was the execution of those plans. Not always did I succeed, there were occasions where I failed. But sports taught me to get back on my feet again and compete in the fairest possible manner.”
Here is Sachin Tendulkar’s full speech : https://youtu.be/mT2u9C9MrNA