Kolkata, Nov 6: While his love for cricket is known the world over, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar's passion for being involved in humanitarian work has been mostly hidden from the world as the master prefers to be a silent crusader.
But after bidding adieu to the game, Tendulkar will be spending much of his time helping the underprivileged, something which he always loved, but could not spare much time because of his cricketing commitments, says former Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official Samar Pal, a close associate of the legend.
"More than the game, Sachin loves social work. He always thinks about the underprivileged and he will spend much of his time doing humanitarian works," said Pal who shares a close bonding with the maestro from the time he was just 14.
Preferring to keep away from the public eye, Tendulkar has been involved in several charitable works, including sponsoring 200 underprivileged children every year through a Mumbai-based NGO called Apnalaya.
Tendulkar also helped a telethon raise Rs.7 crore for schools when he devoted 12 hours patiently answering questions from schoolchildren on the nuances of cricket.
His humane side came to the fore once again when Tendulkar paid the total expense of surgical treatment of Dalbir Singh Gill, a former cricketer who played with him at the under-17 level.
Talking about his 25-year-old association with Tendulkar, Pal said the Tendulkar's visit to the city was never complete without gorging on Bengali cuisine at his residence.
"He is very fond of chingrir mailaikari (lobster cooked in coconut milk)," said Pal as he called Tendulkar a "foodie" who relished Bengali cuisine especially lobster dishes.
This time around, there is no change as Pal will be sending a variety of prawn and lobster delicacies to the maestro.
"Though he now no more eats as much as he did 10 years ago, still I would be daily sending him his favourite lobster and prawn dishes including prawn masala and prawn biriyani," said Pal.