Gautam Gambhir supports HT's You Read, They Learn initiative.
Last week, I got into a partnership. A partnership which goes beyond runs, averages and cricketing victories. This partnership is with the Hindustan Times' You Read, They Learn initiative.
Through this, I will do my bit to raise awareness on the importance of children's education.
I was once asked on a talk show, what is the biggest hurdle for our country? The answer to that was pretty easy for me - population.
The galloping population means a strain on natural resources. It means we need more food and water, more homes, more jobs and more schools for our children.
But unfortunately, growth in resources is not directly proportional to population increase.
To control population we need an educated mother more than an educated father. And for that to happen we must act now. That is what drew me to You Read, They Learn.
The challenge is not just to take children to school but to ensure they stay there. Many enrollments are done in the initial enthusiasm but eventually they fall by the wayside.
For parents on meagre earnings, children are extra hands to supplement the family income. For them, a child has more value working and earning than studying in primary school.
Can you fault that mindset? Maybe, maybe not.
I think this is where teachers have a role to play.
If they can encourage the parents and show them the virtues of education, it can lead to change.
A little secret: one of the kicks of being a cricketer is to sign autographs. But one thing that can give all of us a bigger high is getting to a stage when the whole of India can sign autographs instead of seeking them.
All thanks to initiatives like HT's 'You Read, They Learn'.
(Gautam Gambhir is an Indian cricketer and skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders)