Why Swachhata Award To Sachin

Most Effective Swachhata Ambassador

Winner: Sachin Tendulkar

Why it won: For using his popularity and fame to ensure India achieves its goal of a Swachh Bharat

To be able to play, to dream, to be healthy, to drink clean water, to be well enough to go to school and to have a clean place to live-every child should have these things by right, not by luck. Achieving the goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission will take us closer to a world where boys and girls who have these things are not considered fortunate children any more, but just children,” wrote living cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in a column in April 2018.

In his playing days, the master blaster was rarely heard on public platforms. He let his cricket bat do all the talking. Even in his retirement, Tendulkar is much the same-letting his actions speak louder than words. The bat, though, has been replaced by a broom. Though he was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of India’s ‘swachhata ambassadors’ in 2014, Tendulkar has been promoting cleanliness drives in India for almost 10 years. On September 18, 2011, during a 12-hour-long ‘Support My School telethon’, he helped raise Rs 7 crore-Rs 2 crore more than the target set-for creation of basic facilities in 140 government schools across India, particularly toilets for girl students. After accepting his nomination by Modi, Tendulkar’s first campaign was cleaning up a locality near his home in Mumbai.

The same year, Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha member from 2012 to 2018, adopted the Puttamraju Kandriga village in Andhra Pradesh under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to provide its villagers basic facilities like sanitation, health and hygiene. In 2016, the village was declared open defecation-free. In 2017, he adopted another village, Donja in Osmanabad, which had been facing a drought for the past few years, and created infrastructure in the region for access to sanitation and potable water.

The same year, Tendulkar launched ‘Mission-24’, aimed at improving the quality of life in Mumbai’s M East ward, known to have one of the highest slum populations in the city and ranked the lowest in human development among the city’s 24 wards in the Mumbai Human Development Report 2009. The project, taken up by two NGOs-Apnalaya and Mumbai First-along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, aims to improve basic amenities like hospitals, schools, water and drainage systems.

What sets Tendulkar apart from other ambassadors is his universal appeal across age, gender and class. Revered as the God of Cricket, the Bharat Ratna awardee is also one of those celebrities whose public behaviour has remained impeccable over the years. With around 30 million followers on Twitter and Facebook, Tendulkar also wields tremendous influence on social media.

Courtesy : India Today

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