Humble Sachin helps telethon raise Rs.7 crore for schools

September 19th, 2011 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Mumbai, Sep 19 (IANS) Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was humility personified as a daylong telethon here helped raise Rs.7 crore - Rs.2 crore more than the target - for from the creation of basic facilities, particularly toilets for girl students, in 140 government schools across the country.

He devoted all of nine hours to the 12-hour Coca-Cola-NDTV Support My School telethon Sunday, patiently answering questions from schoolchildren ranging from improving their game to balancing their studies with sports.

“We’ve seen Sachin the batsman, we’ve seen Sachin the sportsperson, but today, we are seeing Sachin the human being,” remarked NDTV chief Pranoy Roy as he wound down the show, immediately after which Tendulkar announced he would donate Rs.500,000 each in the names of his children Arjun and Sara to benefit two schools.

The telethon saw Sachin, other celebrities and schoolchildren come together in a TV studio, a show broadcast live, during which the batting maestro appealed for donations from viewers.

At one stage early in the show that began at 9 a.m., the batting great almost seemed to break down as a young woman cricketer from Chennai gushed, saying what great fans of his she and and her father were.

“Thank you for your kind words. I’m humbled. Please give my regards to your father,” Sachin responded.

What then, in totality, was Sachin’s message to the 600-odd boys and girls who attended the show in batches of 45-50?

“Preparation (before a game) is very important. Every failure is a motivation,” he said.

“It is important to switch on and off. When you are playing cricket, think only cricket. When you are studying, think only about studying.

“Honesty and sincerity will take you miles. There are no shortcuts (in making your way to or up the team).

“Always think of winning. This will generate energy in your body.

Interspersed with this were tips on spotting yorkers, dealing with the short ball, executing the reverse scoop and the helicopter shot.

The Sachin effect apart, quite a few others, principally from Bollywood, got a look-in and the chief among these was Sanjay Dutt.

Then, Govinda and his troupe staged a rousing tribute to the late Shammi Kapoor by performing some of his best known songs like “Aaja, aaja, main hoon pyar tera”, “Yahoo…”, “Suku suku”, “Dil tera dewana hai sannam”, “Taarif karoon kya uski” and finally, “Govinda aala re”.

It definitely did bring the house down and left many marvelling at the energy levels of the actor, who is in his late 40s.

A two-member team from Delhi’s Modern School, with singer Raageshwari as mentor, won a sports quiz that had actor Boman Irani as the master of ceremonies. It was a laugh riot all the way, more so as Sanjay Dutt was also mentoring one of the teams, giving Irani an opportunity to replicate dialogues from “Munnabhai M.B.B.S”.

Child actor Darsheel Safari asked Sachin to play some “cool” shots and he happily obliged, while actor Arjun Rampal admitted that the cricketer was the “only one who can get me out of bed on a Sunday morning”.

When the show started at 9 a.m., just Rs.1.26 crore had been pledged for Support my School, launched in January and which has been spent on creating facilities in 26 schools.

The target was Rs.5 crore to aid 100 schools, but thanks to three big-ticket donations in the closing stages - Rs.1.35 crore from UNHABITAT, Rs.1 crore from Nita Ambani on behalf of Reliance Foundation and Rs.90 lakh from an unnamed NRI from Singapore - the target was far exceeded.

The money will be used, at Rs.500,000 per school, for creating toilets for girls and facilities for drinking water, rainwater harvesting, and sports and games in each of the schools.

International publishing house Pearson pledged to create 500 book libraries in 100 schools while inverter maker Luminous pledged 100 inverters and batteries. Both said they would raise the number if required.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in)

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