Late last year, Sachin Tendulkar shocked the nation and his fans by announcing his retirement from One Day Internationals. Around the same time, he was also appointed a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Rajya Sabha.
We caught up with the cricketer recently, and he spoke about a social cause that he is now endorsing - NDTV's Save My School Campaign - that aims to transform the lives of children (especially the girl child) who are deprived of education.
"It's a terrific cause. I was shocked when I heard of some girls having to go back home because their school didn't have a proper toilet. That shouldn't be a reason for anyone to not attend classes," says the 39-year-old.
He also believes that educating illiterate mothers first is a good step. "The mother is the backbone of any family. If she's educated, she will know how to raise her child," says Sachin.
Denying that his new political clout will help this campaign, he says, "The campaign started two years ago, way before I was nominated as an MP. I need not mix these two." Sachin also clarifies that he hasn't asked the Maharashtra government for land to set up a cricket academy, saying, "I never did that. I am still playing cricket, and as long as that is happening, I would prefer to keep my focus on it. These things take time."