Two city boys have won the opportunity of a lifetime — meeting cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar over dinner in Mumbai — which others can only dream of.
Rammurari Kumar (11) and Mithilesh Kumar (16), students of Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, a school exclusively for slum children run by retired IPS officer J.K. Sinha, won a quiz two weeks ago at their Ambedkar Path-based institute and clinched the dream prize.
As Sachin shows his skill on the field playing shots off bouncers and googlies, these two boys showed their depth of knowledge and sense of timing facing a volley of questions on the life and career of the Master Blaster and providing correct replies.
Sample some of the questions asked:
Sachin was honoured by Indian Air Force with which title?
Which was the first brand endorsed by Sachin?
Sachin lost his father during the 1999 World Cup. He returned to join the team and scored a century in the first match. Against which team?
Sachin calls Sourav Ganguly “Babumoshai” but how does Ganguly refer to him?
Amit Chandra, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur, who is the managing director of Bain Capital, a global private investment firm, had organised the quiz. Chandra is one of the major donors of this school.
The two school boys who hail from the city slums would have dinner with Sachin probably towards the end of March or in the first week of April.
Announcing that the duo bagged the biggest opportunity of their lives, Sinha, who is also the founder-cum-director of Soshit Samadhan Kendra, said: “Both of them are Sachin fans. They just love him. Meeting him would definitely be a big thing for both.”
Rammurari Kumar, a Class III student of one of the lucky two, said winning the competition was not so easy. “I had to compete against 169 students of my school, all of whom were desperate to win. I have very good knowledge about Sachin’s life which helped me in winning the competition, as most questions were based on Sachin’s life,” said the boy.
Brimming with excitement, Mithilesh Kumar, a Class VIII student of the same school, said: “Seven groups were selected in the fourth and final rounds of the quiz, ‘Bowl to meet Sachin’. The teams were named bowlers who had bowled to Sachin in his career, including Wasim Akram and Shane Warne, among others. Finally, our team, named after Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram, won the quiz.”
The boys have big plans for their dinner date with Sachin. “I am making a collage with Mithilesh in which we have put our pictures along with some of Sachin. We would gift it to the legend. Apart from this, all students of our school are making a big card on which all they would write different messages for Sachin. They would also send cricket bats to Sachin to get his autographs on them. Usually, Sachin gifts autographed bats to his fans but students of our school thought of doing something different and came up with this idea. The students would make the cricket bats, which would be sent to Sachin, from broken pieces of furniture. Hope the Master Blaster likes our gifts,” said Mithilesh.
On what questions they plan to ask Sachin during their meeting, Rammurari said: “How does Sachin feel when he is on the pitch? Has anybody called him a short man and does he feel bad about the same? How does he feel when he gets out? Who is his best friend in life? Has he ever felt shy in his life? All these things I am going to ask him.”
Mithilesh added: “I am going to send a very important message on behalf of my batchmates and seniors to Sachin. I would ask him whether he would help in building a stadium for the students of Soshit Samadhan Kendra or not. Would he help us in cricket coaching or not? I am also going to ask these.”
Simranpreet Singh Oberoi, the chief project officer of Soshit Samadhan Kendra, said: “Both Rammurari and Mithilesh have got this opportunity because of their hard work. There was no luck factor. They have made it happen for themselves. Altogether 170 students took part in the competition but they won it and got the chance to meet Sachin.”