All cricket fans know how special Sachin Tendulkar’s jersey no. 10 is. The jersey is highly coveted, as it now bears the aura of the god of cricket itself. When Sachin Tendulkar used to enter the stadium with this jersey on, the stadium used to have a different kind of atmosphere. From all the corners was heard only one name –Sachin! Sachin! Sachin!
And the jersey became a token, a validation of being not just a cricket fan, but of being a Sachin fan. Many fans still spend lakhs just to own Sachin Tendulkar’s iconic jersey number 10.
(Courtesy: GQ India)
Mana Mandlekar, however, got the jersey for free, that too as a gift from Sachin Tendulkar himself. Ans the cherry on the cake was that the jersey was autographed! Wow! Could anyone be luckier than this?
Well, what happened with Mana Mandlekar is not only sheer luck. Mana has not got the 10 no. jersey as a gift, but she has earned it.
To know how you will have to get acquainted with the story of Mana Mandlekar.
Mana hails from the Harda in Madhya Pradesh. She was an ordinary girl until she faced eve-teasing by some local hooligans. After multiple incidents of this sort, she came in contact with Ritesh Tiwari who used to teach Karate free of cost to women. Mana Mandlekar took training of self-defense from him and did not stop there.
After completing her Karate training, she went on to train other women in the nearby areas and districts so that they too are able to defend themselves from eve-teasers.
In a function of National Girl Child Day, she appeared with the Indian cricketer Mithali Raj
and met Sachin Tendulkar.
It was there she narrated her story and Tendulkar was so affected by it that he sent off his iconic jersey number 10 to her as a gift. Sweet, isn’t it?
But sweeter is what Mana Mandlekar did for herself and the women around her. She didn’t just empower herself but made sure all the women in the area are equally empowered. Could there be a bigger example of sportsmanship?
She received a well-deserved gift, indeed!