India crushed Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday, but master batsman Sachin Tendulkar was in the mood for some more fight -- this time against cancer. Wearing a blue checks shirt and jeans, he arrived at the pool side of the ITC Kakatiya late in the afternoon, a few hours before leaving the city.
Sachin managed to spare around 20 minutes to launch the GastroIntestinal and Liver Foundation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (GIFT) along with veteran cricketer VVS Laxman who released a book on Gastro Intestinal Cancer. The foundation and the book are a result of the efforts of Dr Nageshwar Reddy and Dr Prateek Sharma. Before patiently signing autographs for actors like Tarun, Srikanth and Harshvardhan Rane from the Celebrity Cricket League and posing for photographs with fans and friends cheerfully, Sachin gave a brief speech.
“Live and enjoy, enjoy your freedom. I do not think there is anything more valuable and bigger than that. So, thank you for your contribution and generosity and making everyone aware of this and hopefully there will be more smiling faces around enjoying life and freedom,” he said addressing the gathering and congratulating Dr Prateek Sharma and Dr Nageshwar Reddy.
VVS Laxman, on the other hand, recalled his long association with Dr Nageshwar Reddy. Laxman, whose parents are doctors themselves, said, “I have heard from my father what Dr Nageshwar does. He is one of the most eminent gastroenterologists in the country.” According to him, starting this new foundation was an eye opener. “We need more awareness and with the legend himself here, I wish the message is spread to the nook and corner of the country,” he added.
Earlier, Dr Prateek Sharma, professor of Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, said, “cancer is the second leading cause of deaths in the world. The vision of the foundation is hardwork, persistance and organised approach like our cricketing leaders here.” An animated film was also screened in which Sachin is seen playing a shot and transforming into a warrior fighting against cancer.