Sunil Gavaskar pledges to sponsor 35 children's heart surgeries on his 71st birthday

Gavaskar turned 71 on Friday (July 10).

Gavaskar Sponsored life-saving heart surgery for children | The Hindu

Former India captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar is celebrating his 71st birthday on Friday (July 10) and the “Little Master” has decided to make his day more special with a noble cause.

On the occasion of his 71st birthday, Gavaskar has decided to sponsor 35 children from economically weaker sections of society for their heart surgery operations at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai.

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Gavaskar, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the sport of all-time, chose the number 35 since it is the number of total centuries he has scored for India (34 in Tests and 1 in ODIs).

The legendary cricketer had also done the same last year, sponsoring the heart surgeries for 34 children – an equal number of his Test hundreds for India, whose parents could not afford such expensive treatments on their own, at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital.

Gavaskar told Times of India on Friday: “While there are many areas of need that one can serve, children have a special place of importance. They remain the joy of every family and usher in hope of a bright future that all look forward to.”

Read Also: “I’m the best tea-maker in the world,” says Sunil Gavaskar; rules out any celebrations as he turns 71 today

The batting great further explained the motivation behind his philanthropic move: “Sadly, congenital heart disease is the commonest defect at birth in India... Many have no chance to survive and lead a life of dignity... And most of them are poor, and care is limited in the country. The ‘Heart to Heart Foundation,’ which I work for, provides hundreds of these children the gift of life, through the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Children Heart Care in Naya Raipur, Palwal, Haryana, and Kharghar, Navi Mumbai—free of cost. The motto there is ‘only dil, no bill’.”

He signed off, “The experience to give back to the anxious family their child after complex life-saving heart surgery is a defining one, from hopelessness and desperation we present a new healthy life to them. This transforms into gratitude... and gift given brings so much good into the world we live in.”

(With Times of India Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 10 Jul, 2020

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