Cricket legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday administered an oath to the residents of a village he has adopted in Andhra Pradesh to shun alcohol, urging them instead to "get addicted to spending time with family".
Wearing a purple shirt and jeans, the 41-year-old visited Puttamaraju Kandriga village for the first time after his announcement to adopt it under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna. "It's my way of saying thank you for your support. Give up drinking. Get addicted to spending time with your family at the community centre we would build," he told excited villagers, who jostled to catch a glimpse of the legend.
The village, with a population of around 400, depends primarily on farming as a source of livelihood. Children are forced to walk nearly three kilometers to attend the nearest high school.
Sachin has promised a high school, a veterinary hospital, a training centre for women, wifi, uninterrupted power supply and drinking water from the Rs.2.79 crore he has been provided under his MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds.
"He's like God for us" said a local, Vijayamma after the cricketing great visited her house. "There's no development here and I hope he will bring that" she added. When her son Mahesh, an MBA graduate requested Sachin to help him get a job, the ex-cricketer said, "I will try."
But some locals were wary. "These are cosmetic changes. We don't have computers and I don't understand wi-fi," said a local leader.
Last month, Sachin had shared his decision to adopt a village at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in his Independence Day speech had urged all lawmakers to adopt a village each by 2016, and another two by 2019, focusing on providing modern and better services and infrastructure.
(With Agency Inputs)