Sachin’s appetite for runs and records is matched only by his belief in the joy of giving. “He has helped a lot of people and organisations in ways nobody knows about. A good example is his association with Make A Wish Foundation,” says his mother-in-law Annabel Mehta, who runs the NGO Apnalaya.
Influenced by his late father, a believer in the potential of education, Sachin has been sponsoring the education of children at Apnalaya. Most of his support comes by way of funding, as he cannot always make public appearances.
He diverts proceeds from auctions of his bats or cheques that he gets after interviews or appearances to charity. Incidentally, Sachin’s recent tweet to support a cancer cause raked in Rs 1.3 crore.
Sachin also writes introductory notes for brochures of NGOs, which, she says, gives them the much needed publicity and credibility. Annabel recalls an incident where a woman, who was being taken care of by an NGO, was a great Sachin fan and was overwhelmed with joy when she got to speak to him on phone.
“Nothing gets to his head. It is so humbling to see that for some people, to have even the most tenuous connection with him makes so much of a difference,” she says.
Annabel regards Sachin as “a gorgeous father”, who is sometimes more strict than his wife. “He wants them to grow up into good human beings,” she says.
Sachin’s time with his family is very limited, yet he is very involved with his family, especially in the upbringing of his children. “He tries not to miss their birthdays and special moments. If he does, he makes up to them when he returns.”
On his son Arjun’s 11th birthday, Sachin gifted him a mobile phone. “His son is not a great talker,” she says. “But since he has had the phone, he calls Sachin every night, regardless of where he is, and talks to him.”
Sachin, says Annabel, never complains and is very tolerant despite the pressures and the scarcity of time. “And he is an amazing son-in-law!” she says.