Thane (Maha): Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar Sunday said India is a sports-loving nation and also underlined the importance of it becoming a "sports-playing" country.
The cricket icon inaugurated the 'Sparking the Future' initiative of DBS Bank at a TMC school in Mumbra area near here.
Under the initiative, solar-powered flood-lights have been installed at the ground to enable the children to play the game in night.
Addressing a large number of students, Tendulkar emphasised the need to make a change in life-style, so that the country becomes a healthy nation.
"....and I will give another message here, as I have been always saying that India has to be young and fit. We are a young (nation)...when you see the average age of the nations, India is called the youngest nation.
"But I don't think that India is the fittest nation or the healthiest nation, because if that had been the case we wouldn't have been the diabetes capital...we are the diabetic capital of the world, as far as obesity is concerned we are on the third number, so we need to change our lifestyle," said Tendulkar.
"We are a sports-loving nation and it is important to become a sports-playing nation and for that if facilities like these come up, then (I will not only) tell kids (but also) tell parents to spend time with their kids and play, there will be a good relationship," added Tendulkar, who has played 200 Test matches.
Citing his own example, he advised the students to chase their dreams.
"I would tell the students to find out the areas of their passion. And like what I did, I chased my dreams and I will give you one advice: chase your dreams because dreams do come true," the master-blaster noted.
According to Tendulkar, cricket has given him a lot and taught him in his life.
City Mayor Meenakshi Shinde and senior officials of Thane Municipal Corporation were present on the occasion. (PTI)