On the occasion of his 71st birthday, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar decided to sponsor heart surgeries of 35 children at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital for Child Heart Care in Kharghar. The former Indian batsman will provide aid to those kids whose parents are unable to pay the cost of such treatments. This is indeed a remarkable step taken by the Little Master as his act will save the lives of many children. He specifically chose the number 35 as he has the same number of centuries in international cricket. Happy Birthday Sunil Gavaskar: Twitterati Wish the Original Little Master As He Turns 71.

Gavaskar also expressed his love for children and called them the joy of every family. “While there are many areas of need that one can serve, children have a special place of importance. They remain the joy of every family and usher in hope of a bright future that all look forward to,” Gavaskar was quoted as per saying by Times Of India. Sunil Gavaskar Birthday Special: First Indian Batsman to Score 10,000 Test Runs and Other Five Records Held by Original Little Master.

Speaking of the inspiration to take the step, the 1983-World Cup winner explained how heart diseases have become common among Indian children.

“Sadly, congenital heart disease is the commonest defect at birth in India... Many have no chance to survive and lead a life of dignity... And most of them are poor, and care is limited in the country. The ‘Heart to Heart Foundation,’ which I work for, provides hundreds of these children the gift of life, through the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Children Heart Care in Naya Raipur, Palwal, Haryana, and Kharghar, Navi Mumbai—free of cost. The motto there is ‘only dil, no bill’,” he further added.

Last year too, Gavaskar sponsored the treatment of 34 under-privileged children who were suffering from heart problems.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 10, 2020 01:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).