Working in this field for the past seven years, Rahul seems to have gathered enough recognition for the cause of educating children from distant parts of India through sports auctions. CS talks to Rahul about his efforts in educating children from the rural parts of India:
Film vs sports memorabilia
I used to hold a sports auction till last year to raise funds for children’s education. I feel that film memorabilia is nowhere near as precious as say Roger Federer’s Wimbledon racket or Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One racing vest. Being a sports enthusiast as well as a sports player, I would always go for sports memorabilia. I am a film actor too, but I feel that film memorabilia don’t signify any achievement of a quantifiable amount; it’s just a performance. But if you get hold of Milkha Singh’s shoes, it signifies his achievement in the sport.
Aiding the forgotten
I want children from the distant regions of India to take forward the awareness of their regions to other parts of the country and if possible, the world. The idea is to form bridges. When I was in school, I never saw children from Kashmir or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Most schools have children from the same city. I wanted to create a classroom made up of the whole of India, including the rural India; financial status and region no bar. When children from different areas mingle with each other, their world-view changes. They get exposed to endless career options as well as cultures and communities outside their regions. They realise that the world is one. Also, when someone aids children to get educated, they grow up to become thankful adults who will help the forgotten ones.
Sports is the greatest teacher
One experience that I think every child must have is that of sports. Sports taught me how to control my temper, take loss gracefully, how to be disciplined, gave me energy to study longer, and made me physically and mentally fit. It has been the greatest teacher in my life. One thing that children should be discouraged about is the sense of status. Competing with each other on the basis of branded clothes and accessories is bad. They must be taught humbleness which lacks in today’s superficial world.