Nita Ambani, the chairperson of Reliance Foundation, has lauded India pacer Jasprit Bumrah and went on to call the bowler an inspiration for young boys and girls.
Bumrah first made headlines while playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The franchise played a crucial role in scouting the player after looking at his unique bowling action and speed.
Mumbai Indians, owned by Reliance Industries, has given several young players like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ambati Rayudu.
“Transformational journey of a young boy who was discovered by Mumbai Indians (MI) from a small town of India has been exceptional. Today, Bumrah is an inspiration to countless young boys and girls. In the last ten years MI have discovered several young talents like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and so many more,” Nita Ambani said at Sports Business Summit in London.
She also emphasised on the impact sports can have in the life of an individual. She said that it serves as a magical equaliser.
“Sport is a great teacher, it is a magical equaliser and in a young country like India the aspirations are so audacious, the adrenalin so high and appetite to achieve so strong that if you can just guide and steer our in the right direction, they will script the most stunning success stories the world has ever seen,” Nita said.
It has been an exceptional year for women’s sport in the country. Shuttler PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win a gold at the BWF World Championships, Manasi Joshi won the gold medal at the World Para-Badminton Champions and Mary Kom has entered the quarter-finals of the ongoing World Women’s Boxing Championships.
“Today, women in India are breaking the glass ceiling in more and more areas of human endeavour. Indeed women all over the world are doing so in sport and science, in boardrooms and courtrooms, in Bollywood and Hollywood, in politics and philanthropy, in effect anywhere and everywhere,” she added.
Reliance and Mumbai Indians have been a huge supporter of ‘Education and Sports for All Programme’ and under this, many children have been provided with an opportunity to excel in the field of their liking. The recent first-ever NBA games in Mumbai also garnered huge number of admirers in the country.
“One of the most heartwarming initiatives of Reliance Foundation and MI is ‘Education and Sports for All Programme’. It combines the power and pulls of sports and education especially for children who are underprivileged and differently-abled. Under ESA initiative every year we bring 21000 of this children to watch their favourite MI team play,” Ambani said.
“Our huge sports programme for schools and colleges has reached out to 9 million children. The Reliance Foundation Junior NBA Programme has reached out to 11 million children. Overall, across all sports, Reliance Foundation has reached out to over 21.5 million children across the country,” Nita Ambani said.
She also revealed the main motive behind starting the Reliance Foundation.
“Ten years ago my husband Mukesh Ambani and I started the Reliance Foundation to empower all Indians especially women and children. We have had the privilege of touching the lives of 34 million people through our work in diverse areas in the remotest villages and towns of India. Jio is now building multiple digital platforms and solutions in diverse fields including sports, education and healthcare,” she said.
In her concluding statement, she said that Indian is on the path of becoming a global sports phenomenon. She also expressed the desire of India hosting the Olympics and FIFA World Cup one day.
“In the month of July alone, Indian athletes won over 200 medals at the international level. India can become a global sporting powerhouse. There is no reason why a nation of 1.3 billion people cannot be amongst the leading medal winners on the international stage. It is my hope and my dream to see India host some of the most iconic sporting championships in the world like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup,” Ambani said.
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