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UNICEF South Asia Regional Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar leads ‘One Day for Children’ to call for girls’ rights during World Cup cricket match

Image courtesy of UNICEF.

Iconic Wankhede Stadium turns blue in support of child rights around the world during the India – Sri Lanka cricket match, as part of a UNICEF – ICC partnership

 NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, 2 November 2023 – UNICEF South Asia Regional Ambassador and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar led a day for children and called for gender equality with Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lankan cricket icon, during the India-Sri Lanka match in Mumbai today. The One Day for Children is a milestone event under the ICC-UNICEF partnership to support children’s issues and causes during the ICC Men’s World Cup Cricket 2023 taking place in India.

In the second innings of the match, Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan pressed a button which lit up the 32,000 strong iconic Wankhede Stadium in UNICEF’s iconic cyan blue colour, as part of a long-standing partnership between UNICEF and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“The World Cup is an opportune moment to bring people together and promote hope and equality for every child, and I am delighted that today’s match between Sri Lanka and India is the One Day for Children match,” said Sachin Tendulkar, cricketing icon, and UNICEF South Asia Regional Ambassador. “I urge the players, the audiences here and across the world, and ICC partners, to pledge to treat boys and girls equally, irrespective of gender and to build a world where all children, especially girls, have equal rights. I urge everyone to be a champion for children and pledge to end gender inequality together!”

Earlier, the in-stadium audiences were handed LED wrist bands at the entry points to the stands as they arrived, which turned blue with the Stadium. The LED wrist bands came with a QR code, which also linked to a pledge for children. Everyone who got the band was encouraged to scan the QR code and take the pledge. Players also wore one-of-a-kind armbands with logos of the World Cup, One Day 4 Child and UNICEF along with the players’ names.

“Today’s World Cup match is dedicated to advancing the rights and well-being of all children. This is a valuable opportunity to bring the power of cricket – its massive reach across the globe – to advocate for better, safer and empowering lives for millions of girls and boys,” said Cynthia McCaffrey, Representative, UNICEF India. “We greatly value the partnership with ICC and BCCI to use cricket to raise awareness and promote gender equality among millions of young fans and followers, and urge them to be champions for children, especially for girls.”

Since 2016, UNICEF and ICC have used the potential of cricketing events to improve the lives of children and young people. From 2022, the focus of the partnership has been to empower girls and young women through cricket.

“I strongly believe that playing sport can positively transform children’s lives. Ensuring participation of girls in sports can challenge gender norms and change attitudes in schools, playgrounds and homes,” added Tendulkar, UNICEF’s South Asia Regional Ambassador. “Girls and boys everywhere, dream of a better future, and when girls do better, we all do better!”

South Asia is home to one-third of the world’s 600 million adolescent girls – or a staggering 170 million – yet their potential to change the world remains largely untapped. For example, 1 in every 5 girls is undernourished. More than half of adolescent girls are anaemic. Only 36 per cent of girls have completed secondary school. Evidence shows that with adequate investments in the health and nutrition of girls and women, the world could save more than 12 million lives and prevent more than 30 million unwanted pregnancies.

The ICC Men’s World Cup Cricket in India, from 5 October to 19 November, has attracted millions of fans and viewers. In addition to the One Day for Children event, UNICEF and ICC have promoted gender equality through several cricketing initiatives during the ICC World Cup 2023. For example, cricketers from each of the 10 teams played with about 50 young boys and girls during 10 cricket clinics across 8 cities in India.

In August 2023, in his role as UNICEF South Asia Regional Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar visited Sri Lanka and met with children and parents impacted by the COVID-pandemic and the 2022 economic crisis.



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