Volume 2 Issue 20 - October 15, 2004

Tendulkar shoots for ramps

DNIS News Network - The Master Blaster takes up the issue of accessibility for people with disabilities.

Picture of Sachin Tendulkar sharing a joke with children with disabilities.

Ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar will take part in the shooting of a documentary film scripted and directed by Mani Ratnam, to promote the cause of disabled people. The film, being made for Chennai-based Shakthi Foundation, which works for physically disabled people and underprivileged sections of society, seeks to sensitise people on the issue of providing ramps in public places to ensure a barrier-free environment.

The batting maestro also appealed to fellow citizens to support the Foundation in its efforts to help more children live a more accessible life.

The script for this small film is simple: A physically challenged boy (Boniface Prabhu) wins a tennis tournament. Amid applause and plaudits, he goes to receive the trophy but he can't. Reason? There are no ramps to help this wheelchair-using champion to go up to the podium to collect the award. Tendulkar then arrives and presents his trophy, and says a few words on the need for having ramps in all public places.

"Seeing the struggle of a child in a wheelchair, devoid of movement, left an impact in my mind, which propelled me to want to form a human network strong enough to lobby for ramps," Tendulkar said in a message.

Vasanth Raghuvir, the woman behind the Foundation, said, "The Persons with Disability Act made it mandatory for public places such as shopping malls and hotels to have ramps. But only 47 buildings in Chennai had ramps."

She said the Tamil Nadu government had been helpful in this regard.

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