Expressing delight on being conferred with the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday dedicated the award to his mother Rajni Tendulkar and also vowed to give the people of India a reason to smile for all the years of love and support they had given him.
"It's the biggest honour for me and I am extremely delighted on receiving Bharat Ratna. I want to dedicate this recognition, this award to my mother and to mothers all other the India who sacrificed their wishes and aspiration for their children so that the children's dream can come true," Sachin told media here today.
"I am extremely proud to be born in this beautiful nation and I would like to express my gratitude for all the love, affection and support that I have received for number of years," he added.
Sachin also said that he will continue to bat for India and try his best to give the people of India a reason to smile.
Congratulating eminent scientist Prof. C.N.R. Rao, who was also conferred with the Bharat Ratna here today, Sachin said, "I would also like to congratulate Prof. C.N.R. Rao for the Bharat Ratna. He has been instrumental in inspiring and motivating the youth of India to become scientist. I wish him all the happiness and good health."
Earlier today, Sachin and Prof Rao were conferred with the Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function.
The honour was conferred in the presence of Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, family members and a host of other dignitaries from various walks of life.
Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket on November 16 last year, is the first sportsman to receive the country's highest civilian honour.
His 34,000-plus international runs and countless batting records suggest the 'Little Master' more than lived up to those expectations.
He leaved the game after playing more test matches (200), scoring the most test (15,921) and one-day international (18,426) runs, and compiling more test (51) and one-day (49) hundreds than any other player in cricket history.
Prof. Rao is an eminent scientist and a well-recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry. He has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books.
Prof. Rao's contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships.
He has been honoured with several national and international awards.