Pune: Lamenting the fact that the sports grounds are slowly becoming heritage sites, Sachin Tendulkar, former Indian cricketer and Bharat Ratna awardee said that the students must utilise their school grounds to maximum capacity. He was speaking at an interaction session held in the city at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) on Monday.
Apparently, it has been eight months that a set of a Marathi film has occupied a portion of the sports ground at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) restricting students from playing freely.
Interestingly, Minister for State for Higher and Technical Education Ravindra Waikar had issued a notice to SPPU for flouting norms in renting government land to a film production house. After that, the varsity had even told film director Nagraj Manjule to remove it in 15 days yet even after three months the sets remain undisturbed on the ground.
Tendulkar was present at the event to launch the ‘Mission Young and Fit India’ organised by the Board of Sports at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). Sunandan Lele, sports journalist, conducted the interview with Tendulkar in presence of SPPU Vice-Chancellor Nitin Karmalkar, Pro Vice-Chancellor NS Umarani, Registrar Arvind Shaligram, Director of Physical Education and Board of Sports and among other eminent personalities of SPPU and IUCAA.
“There are many spaces which remain unused. Also, there are some spaces which are not allowed to be used in the cities. In this case, I would suggest students should play and utilise their schools’ sports grounds to maximum and also allow other students and players to use their grounds,” said Tendulkar.
He emphasised on finding a solution to the issue but at the same time said that though it is an important issue just don’t focus only on problems but find unique and creative ideas to play in the limited spaces.
The legendary cricketer insisted on inculcating sports education in academic curriculum to initiate a healthier lifestyle for students from a very young age.
“Sports give the power of bondship. It teaches one the importance of teamwork and to be united and selfless. Moreover, it is necessary that students imbibe fitness and healthy lifestyle from a younger age. India is the youngest nation and is also a leading country in diabetes and obesity. Hence, we need to lead our present generation towards fitter India,” said Tendulkar.
He spoke about athletes who have won accolades in international and national sports competitions by their excellent performance but are now striving for a smooth livelihood. “They have tremendous experience in the field of sports and their knowledge can be helpful for students. Hence, if educational institutions recruit such athletes as guides then it will be fruitful for students and players,” he said.
Surprisingly, ‘Mission Young and Fit India’ event was not open for young people, while the only a handful of students and children could be seen in the auditorium, which was filled with sports teachers, principals and directors of various educational