New Delhi, Feb 19: For poverty-stricken but a bright 12-year-old Rishab, this would surely be the best gift of his life: free school education in a top class institution.
And the gift has come from none other than celebrated cricketer Virender Sehwag, the founder of Sehwag International School (SIS), a top grade, multi-activity campus in Jhajjar, just south of upscale Gurgaon in Haryana.
A student of Class VII, Rishab was finding it difficult to sustain his education because of utter penury. So, his parents stumbled upon the idea of narrating his woes on a radio channel -- FM Radio 104, in this case - in the hope of getting some sponsors to keep their son's dream alive.
Moved by his plight, Radio Jockey (RJ) Nitin aired his story. "I am desperate to continue my education, but I may not be able to do so because of financial constraints," said the child, narrating his woes. The RJ also made phone calls to a number of schools in Delhi, appealing to them to act as Samaritans and foot the child's education bill. However, the answer invariably was either "sorry" or total indifference from them.
"I chanced to hear his story and realized that his was a genuine story," said Sehwag. The ace cricketer sent him an SMS on February 14, saying he would take care of his education.
Rishab, who hails from Ghaziabad, has now been offered a scholarship that would allow him to sail through his school education at SIS, absolutely free of cost.
"I want to gift education to Rishab. He will be enrolled in my school from the coming academic session," pointed out the cricketer, who started SIS in 2011, a co-ed, day-cum-boarding institution, with his wife Aarti Sehwag, now its chairperson.
Rishab's parents are elated. "Because of Sehwag Sir's help, our son's dream of getting education will not die a premature death," they said.