Gautam Gambhir’s love for the Indian armed forces is not constrained to his tweets alone. Well before “destiny” drove Gambhir into cricket, the southpaw was passionate about Army and might have joined National Defence Academy (NDA). Nonetheless, the 37-year-old has kept the connection alive through his foundation that supports “children of martyrs”.
“It was pure destiny and had I not played Ranji Trophy in 12th (standard), I would have definitely gone into the NDA because that was my first love and it still remains my first love. In fact, my only regret in life is that I couldn’t join the army,” Gambhir told about his passion for the forces during the book launch of ‘It’s Easy To Be You’, authored by self-proclaimed mind coach Radhika Kawlra Singh.
“So when I got into cricket I decided that the best thing I can do now is contribute in what has always been my first love … and I started this foundation that looks after the children of all the martyrs,” he added.
Last year, Gambhir took the lifetime academic responsibility of a slain Jammu and Kashmir police officer’s daughter. Zohra – the daughter of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police Abdul Rasheed, who was martyred in August 2017, had expressed her desire to become a doctor and the left-hander ensured her to support in every possible way.
Talking about his foundation, Gambhir said: “We are sponsoring 50 children right now, we are going to increase the number to 100.”
Not a believer in the concept of “youth icons”, Gambhir said he grew up idolising no one.
“People have asked me this question millions of times ‘Who in your profession has been your idol?’ and I have said ‘no one’. I always wanted to be my own self and that is what has been my biggest strength, and this is what I keep telling the young kids too,” he remarked.
(With PTI inputs)