Now, Sehwag bats for charity

Now, Sehwag bats for charity

 
Cricketer Virender Sehwag at a fund-raising event organised by a software firm in Bangalore on Wednesday evening.But off it, Virender Sehwag ‘aka’ Viru is a soft-spoken and debonair man whose heart bleeds for the hungry, the illiterate, and the have-not common folk.

On Wednesday after India drubbed Australia in the second Test match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the City, Sehwag drove to take part in a fund-raising event organised by software giant SAP.

On the sidelines, he spoke exclusively to Deccan Herald on charity and his philosophy of life on cricketers as altruists and philanthropists.

For Sehwag, philanthropy is essentially a low-key and unassuming work. “It’s not true that we don’t care for the lesser-privileged people. As a public figure, it’s my responsibility that I involve myself in, and support, such initiatives,” he asserted.

Flaunting

According to Sehwag, it’s “very easy” to organise a charity event, invite the media, and flaunt one’s philanthropic side. “But it ends there. Charity needs to be constantly followed up. It’s not sufficient that you do a one-off event and leave it there,” the dashing opener said brushing aside the notion that Indian cricketers are “indifferent” towards social causes as they have little time to spare from their commercial obligations.
The dashing opener also refused to buy the notion that Indian cricketers are “less charitable” than Australian batting legend Steve Waugh.

While a few players do charity through various organisations, others take part in initiatives taken up by their families. But they have constraints. “Although we ought to devote time and donate money to such activities, we often can’t do this,” he said.
Describing batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar as an “inspiration” for engaging in social causes, Sehwag says his role model devotes time, donates money, and takes part in fund-raisers. “Tendulkar is the greatest sporting icon in the country. When he engages in a noble cause, others too get inspired and follow him,” Sehwag said.

Praising former Test bowler Anil Kumble for his charity works, Sehwag said that when the former was playing, he motivated the entire team to take part in social causes. “We involved ourselves in a lot many initiatives, especially pertaining to wildlife conservation. Similarly, Rahul Dravid also has a heart towards the downtrodden sections,” he added.

Priorities

About his priorities on charity, Sehwag believes that girls should be imparted vocational training such as sewing, embroidery, and knitting. “This will not only help in educating them but also solve their livelihood problems. Since I’ve been associated with NGO Shikhar since its inception, we have purchased land to set up a school for girls. Besides, we aim to impart computer education to girl students free of cost,” Sehwag said.

Sehwag regretted that he couldn’t devote much time before the 2003 World Cup. “I was too hard-pressed to devote time. But when I came to know that my colleagues from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi were working hard to make a difference in people’s lives, I got inspired and began taking active interest,” he concluded.

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