6 for education!

Sachin, Harbhajan and Zaheer join Nita Ambani in reaching education to underprivileged and disadvantaged kids

Online PR News – 25-February-2010 – – Sachin, Harbhajan and Zaheer join Nita Ambani in reaching education to underprivileged and disadvantaged kids

Sometimes you can score in cricket without picking a bat and walking onto the crease; before you spin the ball and send a thunderbolt streaking down the wicket; and, even while the covers are still on the grass and the teams are dressing up. All it takes is a cause, your belief in it, and the willingness to give of yourself to further that cause. That’s what Nita Ambani has started doing this week, scoring for her IPL team the Mumbai Indians, even though the third season of the popular Twenty20 tournament is still a cool 17 days away. And this Nita’s doing not for Messrs.

Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan & Co., but for underprivileged kids of five NGOs that she is supporting through an initiative called ‘Education For All’. It was launched across national television channels on Sunday. Of course, Sachin, Bhajji and Zaheer are part of the initiative, they all appear in 15-second commercials for the cause, but the real stars of this Mumbai Indians promo are the children who make an endearing appearance with Nita at the end. Look out for it, you will know what I mean.

As to how Nita intends taking her cause to the masses, it’s simple. Just like American cycling legend Lance Armstrong did for cancer victims in 2004, the Mumbai Indians is selling blue silicone wristbands signed by Tendulkar and other greats from the team that say ‘Education For All’. Every band sold will mean some amount of money goes towards the NGOs Pratham, Ummeed, Akanksha, Teach For India and Nanhi Kali that do exemplary work in educating underprivileged children. The sale proceeds will be matched by a contribution from the Mumbai Indians’ kitty. Nita is counting on the huge fan base her team has across the country to boost the sales, but since it is for a charitable cause, all benevolent Indians supporting other IPL teams are expected to pitch in and buy the bands as well. “It’s a small and humble effort,” said Nita who believes education is the key that unlocks the potential of every child. She must know, she was a school teacher once, and now she runs the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, one of the world’s premier holistic education institutions providing a robust, all-round learning that stresses on values of humanity as much as it does on academics. In the evenings, this prestigious institute becomes an education centre for Akanksha’s underprivileged kids. Besides which, through the Reliance rural schools in Maharashtra and Gujarat, Nita also looks after the education of 15,000 other children.

“One of India’s big needs is for every underprivileged kid, especially the girl child, to know how to read and write,” continued Nita. “This is a cause that’s very dear to me, and Sachin, Harbhajan and Zaheer were happy to endorse it in the promo.” It doesn’t end just with the sale of the ‘Education For All’ bands that are available at all Reliance and Sahakari Bhandar stores in Maharashtra, of course. For Nita, who sits cheering in the dug-outs whenever her team is playing, will take 120 of these kids to see every home match. She later plans to hold a special benefit match for them with her players.

“It will be such fun, imagine Zaheer bowling to the kids! Cricket is so unusual, it unifies everybody, and the kids know so much about the game — I’m surprised,” she said in an interaction with children from the five NGOs over a game of cricket in a Cuffe Parade garden. “Who is India’s greatest batsman,” she asked, conducting an impromptu quiz. Every hand went up. “Sachin Tendulkar,” they cried, with one boy adding shyly, “He’s also the captain of our team!” And Nita Ambani, who’s totally involved with the Mumbai Indians, and understands cricket closely, blushed with pride...

Source: Times of India