Sachin Tendulkar to fight against drugs and alcohol for Kerala government
Legendary Indian batsman, Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to a request from the CPI-M LDF (Communist Party of India-Marxist Left Democratic Front) and now will be a part of Kerala government's awareness drive against drugs and alcohol.
The newly-elected Kerala Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan said that the iconic batsman will be the face of the government's anti-drug campaign.
"Tendulkar has given consent to use his name to strengthen the campaign against liquor and drug abuse in the state. He has agreed to cooperate in the campaign," he told reporters during a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
“As the abuse of drugs and alcohol is on the rise in our state, it is important that we run awareness campaigns against it. We have asked Tendulkar whether we could use his name and he has accepted the proposal wholeheartedly,” Vijayan added.
He further informed the reporters that the government will soon finalise the aspects of the project after holding discussions with the legendary batsman’s manager. There are high chances that the master blaster will be named as the state's 'ambassador' for the campaign.
“As a person who has taken a stand against such issues, Tendulkar has agreed in principle to associate with the campaign and it will be finalised after negotiating with his office,” he remarked.
The CM held a meeting with Tendulkar along with other four co-owners of the Kerala Blasters Football Club (KBFC), Chiranjeevi, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Allu Aravind and Nimmagadda Prasad at the State Secretariat of Kerala. After the end of the meeting, Mr Vijayan stated that the KBFC has accepted to set up a residential Football Academy to train young brewing talents in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Tendulkar said that the main purpose of the academy will be to produce 100 world class footballers from the soccer-crazy state in the next five years.
“We wanted to meet the Chief Minister and discuss a way forward where youngsters can benefit. Blasters have been doing this for a couple of years by training children at the level, but we understand the interest levels are way-way high and we need to go way beyond.
“Our objective is to start a residential academy where youngsters can chase their dreams. We will strive to create more interest in football and produce 100 top class footballers from the state in the next five years. You will have really something to smile in a few years' time," he further added.
Arguably the greatest batsman of all time, Tendulkar is still the darling of marketing wizards even after two years of his retirement from cricket. The contention to rope in the ‘Bharat Ratan’ as the face of several social campaigns across the globe reaches new height every month.
The right-hander is the goodwill ambassador of the Indian Olympic Association for the Rio Olympics which is to be held from 5 to 21 August.
Being a member of Rajya Sabha, he was also recently roped in by the Indian government to endorse the 'I Support Skill India' campaign.