Kolkata, Jan 29: Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly today, January 29, joined India's Olympic and Paralympics heroes Abhinav Bindra, Devendra Jhajharia and Deepa Malik and asked the countrymen to remember the inspiring feats of the nation's sporting heroes.
"It's extremely important to know our Indian sporting heroes. We have had so many world class sportsmen who are no more alive but they have brought laurels to our nation, they have earned the country gold, silver and bronze medals," Tendulkar said after the opening of Fanatic Sports Museum, The Boria Mazumdar collection at Ecospace Business Park.
"We cannot forget them, they are not alive, not in front of us but they should be in our minds and this would help to keep them get inspired and motivated.
"This is where it all starts where youngsters get inspired by great sportspersons. I congratulate Boria and his team for this amazing museum. It's not just for Kolkata, it's for India," the batting maestro added.
Tendulkar, who is here on a two-day visit that saw him flagging off the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon this morning, also urged the youngsters to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Admitting that Indians are not active enough, he said: "We prefer to be on the sofa and pass statements like aisa khelne chahiye tha, aisa hona chahiye tha. (should have played this way or have done this).
"I'm not saying everyone needs to become a professional sportsperson but to lead an active lifestyle you need to engage yourself in some activities.
"Burn those calories every day. On the dining table, we always don't mind having an extra paratha. Reverse that and spend those extra five, 10 minutes in the gym. It will help," he said.
The museum on a 6700 square feet area welcomes everyone with the Atletico de Kolkata's glittering Indian Super League silverware on the left as many historic artifacts have found a place.
The collection also includes Tendulkar's 100th-century gloves, bat and jersey, PV Sindhu's silver medal winning jersey and Bindra's epic 2008 Olympics gold medal winning gloves.
It's not only confined to Indian sportspersons as it has some autographed memorabilia from tennis aces Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal and sprint king Usain Bolt.
"Here we are talking about all sports. That's why I would like as many youngsters to go there and understand the history of sport, mainly Indian sport," Tendulkar said.
Hailing the initiative, Ganguly said: "This sort of initiatives may not be as important as playing a cricket match but to keep this game going and keep the games in the minds of people, it's important.
"Like all of you who have seen the museum will recollect what Sachin did, the great Bradman, Ian Chappell or MS Dhoni did right throughout their career. It's in the appropriate place," he said.
"Hope all of you can come and spend time and relive the memories of all the greats who have put in tireless efforts in their careers.
"Because when you see a Sachin bat on which he scored the 100th century, you feel inspired. It's a wonderful feature. I know how much time it takes to put up such a wonderful work. More than time, it's the interest that's important," Ganguly said.
India's only individual Olympic gold medallist Bindra said such initiatives are needed in the country to become a sporting nation.
"It's a great initiative to create a culture of sports in India. We need people to come on a holiday to see something that is all in all a fantastic experience.
"We need many more initiatives such as this. At the end of the day, for the country to develop as a sporting nation we need people to get inspired," Bindra said.
Drawing parallel with the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Bindra said: "I've spent a lot of time in Lausanne and it just feels and looks absolutely similar. I feel fantastic to be here. It has got a lot of depth."
Boria Mazumdar added: "The thought of museum is always very cold, dry and boring. But here the whole idea is to make it more interactive and engaging."
Boria Mazumdar said it took him more than two decades to assemble the collection and the museum has got a tie-up with the National Football Museum, world's greatest football museum located in Manchester.
"We are also in talks with MCC to do a travelling exhibition. This is just the 30 per cent of the collection and we will embellish every two months," he said.
The museum will be open on all days barring Monday and will have entry fee of Rs 100 and Rs 50 for students, while any state or national level sportpersons will be given free access.