Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has been voted by people of India as their number one role model of health and happiness in a nationwide survey conducted by a health magazine. Sachin was stumped when he was told that he was India’s hero even off the pitch.

“Goodness me! Is it true? My countrymen think that I am the healthiest and happiest person in the country? What a compliment, I am truly overwhelmed. I will cherish this compliment forever” was his reaction in an interview in the December, 2008 issue of health magazine, `Complete wellbeing’.

Interestingly, the survey, which was conducted by global research firm Synovate for the Complete Wellbeing magazine, was before Sachin became the highest test run scorer and before his 40th test century, said Manoj Katri, the editor and publisher of the magazine.

Tennis player Sania Mirza is the only woman to be voted among the top 10 role models of health and happiness when majority of the top role models that India has chosen are from cricket, Katri said.

The results of the survey are fascinating with Indian icons A P J Abdul Kalam and Amitabh Bachchan emerging among the top three role models across categories, along side Sachin.

Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Anil Ambani also emerged as the top celebrities who inspire health and happiness in their respective domains, the survey said.

India voted railway minister Lalu Prasad as the happiest among all politicians while Congress president Sonia Gandhi as number one role model of health.

When Lalu was informed about people’s choice of happiness, he said, “I thank the people for choosing me.” Asked why he was voted, he said, “because I am always jolly. Happiness comes to me genetically.”

In contrast, MNS chief Raj Thackeray is perceived as much more grim and was way behind Lalu at number four with very little votes. Interestingly, even Mumbai favoured Lalu over Raj, Katri said.

Among the business barons, chairman of ADAG group Anil Ambani has been voted as the happiest and healthiest person, followed bycChairman of Tata Group Ratan Tata and RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Sudha Murthy of Infosys Foundation and television soap queen Ekta Kapoor are among the chosen top 20 healthy business leaders.

The survey was conducted across eight major cities in India among a broad age group between 25 and 45 years, Katri added.

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