(Pics) Sachin begins his second innings as UNICEF's ambassador

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Mumbai, Nov 29: The master blaster could not be stopped on the cricket ground and he cannot be stopped after retirement.

At 40, retired from cricket, yet playing into his second innings as UNICEF's hygiene monitor, Sachin Tendulkar is unbeatable. As the first brand ambassador of UNICEF for South Asia, he is all set to promote the importance of hygiene and sanitation.

Backing his support for the cause, the cricketer went revealed baffling statistics, which show that 1600 children die everyday because of bacterial and diarrhoeal-infected diseases. According to the UNICEF, half of the population of India defecates in the open and approximately 681 million people practice open defecation .

In his speech he said:

"Thanks for allowing me to start this wonderful second innings of my life. I'm looking forward to being an ambassador for UNICEF and serve to the best of my ability. This is an innings that is really really important to me, so I will try my best."

However, the amusement was clearly visible on his face when he said,"I was surprised to know that 36 per cent of the world population don't have access to safe and clean toilets. In today's day and age to think about this basic facility not being available to a common man, it is really difficult to digest. If a person defecates in the open and goes back home and that happens to be a mother, because in most of the family it is the mother who runs the house. She is the one who is cooking food for all the family members, she is the one who is feeding the baby with her own hands because that is the attachment and a bond that any mother and child would share. And if the hands are not washed with soap, can you imagine the result? It can actually take away the child's life. For an adult's negligence, a child cannot lose its life."

He further added that his second innings of life demanded special care and he would be glad if he brought down the astronomical child mortality rate due to unhygienic lifestyle. He said," "Hand wash according to me with soap is like vaccine which can prevent a lot of diseases. Basically, by not washing your hands after defecation allows a person to carry germs back home. It causes lot of harm to your health. Many diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, worms, infect many diseases related to respiratory are caused because of our negligence.

I think it becomes our responsibility to pass on our knowledge. I have seen it at home, my wife being a doctor, most of the things I don't need to worry about. If the children are not feeling well, I know my wife is going to give them the best of the treatment and make sure that everything is fine. But outside where certain people don't have access to these things, I think it becomes our responsibility to share our thoughts with them, our knowledge with them and just make them understand how important it is.

Not just for them but their family because it is infectious. If you don't wash your hands regularly after using the toilet then the results are terrible. You don't want to talk about those results.

Let us make this effort in creating this awareness, spreading the right information to the ones who don't have access to this information. I think it becomes our responsibility and it is all about creating a healthy and cleaner place that we live in. If we are able to do that there will be many happy faces around. Let us strive towards sanitation for all of us, more so important for children who don't understand how important it is to wash your hands with soap."

In Mumbai

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar along with UNICEF India Representative Karin Hulshof during a press conference announcing Sachin as the UNICEF ambassador for South Asia, in Mumbai on Thursday.

In Mumbai

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar speaks during a press conference announcing him as the UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia, in Mumbai on Thursday.

In Mumbai

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar smiles during a press conference announcing him as the UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia, in Mumbai on Thursday.

In Mumbai

At 40, retired from cricket, yet playing into his second innings as UNICEF's hygiene monitor, Sachin Tendulkar is unbeatable. As the first brand ambassador of UNICEF for South Asia, he is all set to promote the importance of hygiene and sanitation.

OneIndia News

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