Would urge finance ministry to include CGHS in CSR: Sachin Tendulkar

New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar today said he would request Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to make Central Government Health Scheme for sportspersons a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget, which can be used to develop sports infrastructure.

Tendulkar, whose maiden speech in Rajya Sabha could not take place due to protests in the Upper House feels “India is a sport-loving nation not a sport-playing nation”.

“I know it’s going to be a Herculean task to have CGHS benefit covering all international medallists but we can take some steps to give them a respectable life. Imagine our first ever swimmer in Olympics Shamsher Khan. He had no funds to get treated for his heart ailment and hearing problem,” Tendulkar told PTI today.

“In my speech, I have requested Arun Jaitley ji to have a percentage of CSR budget for sport infratsructure. I would say for a start, if we have that budget, CGHS scheme can be incorporated in that project,” Tendulkar said.

The legend has also spoken about transforming ‘Smart Cities’ into ‘Smart Sport Cities’.

“We can think about a Public Private Partnership which enables us to have more grounds. The ‘Smart City’ should be a ‘Green City’ with solar lighting, more playgrounds for the public. With association of big organisation, tournaments can be organised. It’s not always having professional athletes but a fitter generation,” India’s greatest ever cricketer said.

Tendulkar also spoke about how the younger generation should compulsorily know about the sporting achievements of the past heroes.

“I have prepared a sample booklet with a number of sportspersons and their achievements but I would like our children to know about our sporting heroes. It should be made compulsory in schools. I have only tried to set a template,” he concluded.