With all the news about Sindhu and Saina nehawal’s coach Gopi, how he mentored these kids to finally be able to get medal at olympics, we present you an old and very important news concerning Erstwhile badminton star Pullela Gopichand , Remember a decade back 50 lacs was not a small amount and that too for athlete who has just won a title, this is called ethics
” Gopi remains concerned about the health hazards of carbonated soft drinks, as well as packaged foods, particularly among children. It had led him to reject the brand endorsement offer after he won the All England Badminton Championship in 2001. He was the second Indian to win the championship after the renowned Prakash Padukone, who won the title in 1980.
“It was just a personal decision,” he recalls. “Since 1997, I have stopped drinking these soft drinks. After seeing the reports, as well as studies on the health hazards of these products, I stopped their consumption. Only my family members and friends were aware of the offer and my decision. I did not want to discuss it further as it was purely a personal decision.”
But after a few months, when his friend, Amala Akkineni (the actor married to Nagarjuna) broke the news to children present at a function organised by her NGO, the media world came to know about the incident.When asked about turning down the offer at a time when badminton was underrated, and the chance to appear before millions of people, he has a simple answer: “I could not go against what I believed. If you’d like, you can call it ethics.”
Besides health hazards, penetration of these products in rural areas also affects the income of poor families, he believes. “If their heroes or role models appear often on television with these bottles in their hands, how can we blame children if they pester parents for buying those products?” he asks.
Gopichand was awarded Padma Shri in 2005 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. The Government of India granted him the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1999 and the Dronacharya Award in 2009.