'Small steps can bring in huge change,' — was cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s message to his young fans for doing their individual bits for the conservation of environment at an event in the Capital recently.
Sachin was attending the ‘Bat for the Planet’ initiative, organised by Toshiba in partnership with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) that aims to promote eco-consciousness among school-going children.
'...It (the initiative) is about caring for our planet and I feel it is really important that every individual takes it seriously. We are not asking for much. There are little things like I make an effort to not waste water when taking bath, not to leave the tap open while shaving, switch off the lights, ACs or fan when not in the room,' Sachin told The Hindu.
A painting competition was organised as part of the event in which children were required to create works illustrating environmental stewardship, energy efficiency or greenhouse gases and climate change. It saw participation from over 11,000 children from 41 schools in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Talking about the importance of the involvement of children in such initiatives, Sachin shared: 'I think it is extremely important. My children understand the importance… sometimes when I have not even left the room, my son turns off the lights! It has become a habit at home. We crack jokes about these things but when you look back, it is a good habit to have.'
Referring to the paintings by students from Class VI to X, he said sometimes a message from a 12-year-old is absorbed better than a 40-year-old’s. 'These children have impressed me. They have done a great job with the paintings. This requires a lot of effort. Ideas were amazing and to be able to put them on paper requires effort at that age… in fact at any stage. If I am asked to do something like this, I’ll struggle,' he quipped.
One winning entry from each school was selected by a committee of eminent educators and artists. The winners were awarded by Sachin. In addition, all the participants received certificates from the cricketer in recognition of their efforts.
Expressing the hope that similar initiatives will help encourage corporates to come forward and do their bit for the environment, Sachin added: 'I am sure it will start. Few guys have already done it. We are looking at mother earth’s health. When it comes to individuals, we ensure that we remain healthy, so why not do the same thing for our planet. It does not stop here. Others will definitely follow.'
'This initiative aims to propagate among the student community in NCR, the idea of preserving our natural habitat. Besides, it provides a platform for students to explore their creativity,' IGBC Chairman Dr. Prem C. Jain said.