Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is known for being straightforward and speaking his mind out on and off the pitch and he once again showed that when, in a recent interview, he was questioned about his participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) despite being an active politician and a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha.
Notably, Gambhir switched his career to politics after hanging up his cricketing boots. He is an MP from the Bhartiya Janata Party for the East Delhi Constituency. However, the 2011 World Cup winner continues to be associated with cricket, be it as a commentator or as a mentor for IPL teams. For the same reason, Gambhir has been often targeted by his political opponents, who claim that the former India cricketer is lax when it comes to serving his constituency as his focus and priorities are IPL and other cricket commitments.
However, Gambhir has hit back at his critics in a 53-second video where he can be seen asking the media to publish his version of the story. “Ho sake toh isko chaap dena,” he can be heard saying.
— Gaurav Arora (@gauravbir786) June 3, 2022
“Why I commentate in IPL or work in it is because I spend INR 25 lakh every month to feed 5000 people. This translates to roughly Rs. 2.75 crore per year. I’ve also spent INR 25 lakh to build a library.
“I spend all of this money from my own pocket and not from the MPLAD fund. The MPLAD fund doesn’t run my kitchen or other things that I do. I don’t have a tree in my house from where I can pluck money either.
“Only because I work, am I able to feed those 5000 people or establish that library. I have no shame in saying that I do commentary and work in the IPL. All of this that I do has an ultimate goal,” he explained further.
Notably, Gambhir runs a kitchen called ‘Jan Rasoi’, which offers meals to the underprivileged at just INR 1. The kitchen was founded under the drive of the ‘Ek Asha Jan Rasoi’ program to eradicate hunger and malnutrition from society. The 40-year-old has also set up a library for the underprivileged.
It is worth mentioning that Gambhir served as the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants in the recently concluded IPL 2022. Under his guidance, LSG reached the playoffs in their maiden IPL season. Gambhir also works as commentator-cum-pundit for Star Sports.