United Nations: Sports-stars can play a key role in spreading development messages and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar's participation in major campaigns on hygiene and cleanliness has proved it, a senior Indian diplomat has told the United Nations.
Addressing the UN session 'Sport for development and peace', Srinivas Prasad, Minister on Sports Committee of Indian Mission, also underlined the role of sports as "celebrations of global goodwill".
"The spread of the Olympic movement and the immense growth in popularity of national and world championships of major sports like soccer, basket ball, cricket, hockey and tennis highlight their role as celebrations of global goodwill," he said.
Srinivas said the story of many sports-persons who have risen from poverty and destitution are powerful messages of hope and happiness to millions of young people in the world.
"The sport-stars, in turn, become valuable messengers in spreading developmental messages," he remarked.
"As a national sport of India which reaches millions of people in cities, towns and villages, cricket and its stars provide a very important platform for spreading social messages. Indian cricket's greatest icon Sachin Tendulkar illustrates this. Tendulkar was part of a popular national campaign to promote hygiene among children which encouraged schoolchildren to wash their hands before eating food. Similarly, he has recently been a brand ambassador for India's 'Swachh Bharat' or the Clean India campaign," Srinivas said.
Tendulkar, 44, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2013, was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a public figure to make a contribution towards Swachh Bharat on October 2, 2014.
The minister also apprised the session about Indian government's initiatives which have advanced social and educational development in backward areas.
He talked about the creation of sports hostels spread across the country which he said have been made to take advantage of location-specific sports talent.