Every cricket fan dreams of meeting Sachin Tendulkar. Yesterday, kids of Shelter Don Bosco (Wadala) realised this dream as they interacted with the legend and shared his views about how to chase bigger dreams. As a part of Aviva Early Starters, an initiative to encourage children to plan for their future, Tendulkar visited the shelter to interact with the kids. The Master Blaster even gave away autographed cricket bats to five children.
Sachin Tendulkar interacts with a kid at an event at Wadala's Shelter Don Bosco yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
One of these kids is Rohit Jagwani, a Class VII student of Sahkarnagar BMC English Medium School, who idolises Tendulkar and dreams of being a cricketer like him. "After my parents died, I used to sleep on the footpaths of Ghatkopar. I survived having leftovers that I would pick up from near dustbins. The police got me admitted to the Dongri Children's Home, before I was shifted to Shelter Don Bosco in 2013.
Today was a memorable day for me. I cannot believe that my idol asked me about my life and what my dreams were. The bat he presented me which had my name written on it will always remain special. His words have given me faith to work towards my dream of becoming a cricketer," said the 14-year-old, who lost his parents when he was three.
Narayan Devdutt, who also got an autographed bat, was thrilled at meeting Tendulkar. "I had abusive parents back in Nanded who forced me to do odd jobs and didn't allow me to study. In 2011, I boarded the train for Mumbai and reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. A lady working with an NGO took me to Dongri Children's Home. I stayed there for five months before being sent to Shelter Don Bosco. I had seen Tendulkar on television, but meeting him in person was unbelievable," said the 15-year-old aspiring footballer.