Bengaluru, Aug 27 (IANS) Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday appealed to the people here to pledge for a ‘Swasth Bharath’ (Healthy India) as physical fitness and well-being are key to nation-building.

“Medical issues are not restricted to sportspersons and I can tell you from experience that it is the quality of care which heals,” said the 43-year-old batting maestro after unveiling Aster CMI Hospital, a quaternary super-specialty healthcare facility in this tech hub.

Recalling his long relationship with healthcare owing to multiple injuries he had during his 25-year-long association with the gentlemen’s game, the Bharat Ratna said he would not have served Indian cricket and chased his dreams without the support and care of medical professionals and physiotherapists.

“I also have a medical professional at home which has been my best partnership,” Tendulkar quipped referring to his wife Anjali, a paediatrician by profession.

Hoping that the new private hospital would add value to the city, the Rajya Sabha lawmaker said the hi-tech facility’s team of doctors and support staff would make a special and consistent effort to live up to its philosophy of treating the patients well.

Built with an outlay of Rs 230 crore in the city’s northern suburb, the 509-bed hospital aims to provide medical care in accordance with global best practices in healthcare.

“Our hospital moves forward with a global vision to build a healthier tomorrow and take healthcare to the next level of excellence,” said Aster Chairman Azad Moopen on the occasion.

Noting that India faced several issues, among which access to quality healthcare was a challenge for many, Moopen said the hospital was extending its association with Tendulkar to offer oncology and paediatric cardiac surgeries for deserving patients with Aster Medicity at Kochi and Kozhikode in Kerala.

“An outlay of Rs 2 crore has been earmarked for this as part of our CSR initiative for the next four years,” added Moopen.

Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, State Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister U.T. Khader and other dignitaries were present at the inaugural event.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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