'Learned the hard way that good nutrition plays a crucial role' - Sachin Tendulkar on importance of nutritional diet for children
"Every child should have the right to education, it is the foundation for every child," Tendulkar said.
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Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has taken a stand for the well-being and education of children in Sri Lanka. As UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador, Tendulkar visited schools in the country and met people who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and economic challenges.
During an event in Colombo, Tendulkar expressed his concern about the lack of access to quality food for many households in Sri Lanka. He shared his own experience, recalling that during his school cricket matches, he often skipped lunch and settled for soft drinks instead.
Tendulkar, who has been associated with UNICEF since 2013 as the Ambassador for South Asia, stressed upon the importance of proper preparation and nutrition. He revealed that neglecting proper meals affected his performance during matches.
“I got out after lunch at an important match, and the first thing I wanted to do was to eat, I learned the hard way that good nutrition plays a crucial role. This preparation was something I unknowingly ignored. I got out after lunch at an important match, and the first thing I wanted to do was to eat," he was quoted as saying by Eastern Eye.
Tendulkar emphasized that children need both, a nutritious diet and quality education to realize their potential. He asserted that investing in these aspects isn't just beneficial for the children themselves, but also for the future of the entire country.
By investing in their education and nutrition, we are not only investing in their future but also every country’s future: Tendulkar
He also highlighted India's efforts in combating child malnutrition through the introduction of ready-to-eat packages of therapeutic foods. Tendulkar's recent visit to the rural Sabaragamuwa province allowed him to see UNICEF programs firsthand and interact with children and parents facing challenges due to the pandemic and economic crisis.
"Children require a nutrient-rich diet and quality education to reach their full potential. By investing in their education and nutrition, we are not only investing in their future but also every country’s future. Something unique has started in India, which is local therapeutic foods, ready-to-eat packages. Every child should have the right to education. It is the foundation for every child," Tendulkar added.
He made a point to visit a preschool supported by UNICEF's midday school meal initiative, where he served food to children. Tendulkar emphasized that every child deserves the right to education, as it forms the foundation for their growth.
Tendulkar's association with UNICEF dates back to 2003 when he led an initiative to raise awareness about polio prevention in India. Over the years, he continued to support campaigns promoting hygiene and sanitation, not only in India but also in other countries like Nepal.