Rahul Dravid is the personification of class. Time and again, with his simplicity and humility, he has proved an absolute gentleman. His honesty and straightforwardness fetched him immense respect in his playing days, and nothing has changed in his retirement. From flying economic class to visiting a gas agency all by himself to get a new connection and reusing two shirts through an entire tour, this is a man who just cannot be disliked.
He had turned down Bangalore University’s offer of awarding him with an honorary doctorate saying he would rather earn one in sports research. Gulbarga University had a similar encounter when Dravid declined their offer in 2014. Recently, he opened up about why he turned Bangalore University down, speaking straight from the heart. He said he would like to earn a degree with his own mettle if it was something he really wanted. He cited examples from his own family, with his mother earning her doctorate at the age of 55 and his wife Vijeta Dravid earning her degree in surgery after working hard for seven years.
In an interview with Indian Express, he said,
The thing about the doctorate is that my mom did her PhD and earned a doctorate at the age of 55. My wife’s a surgeon who studied seven years to get a degree in surgery. And I’ve always felt that if it was something I wanted, I would like to have earned it. I don’t mean that anyone else should have that feeling and I’m not trying to belittle anyone else. It’s just that I felt that way because of my own experiences. And it’s not the first time that people have asked me to become a doctorate. It’s just that it’s happened privately and over an email exchange. And before it’s been announced, I have declined it politely even then. It so happened that this unfortunately came out in public.
Never one for publicity, Dravid has been associated with numerous social initiatives, all of which he has kept quiet. In an interview with The Hindu, his mother Pushpa Dravid said,
I see his whole life connected with cricket. He will do his part for charity like raising funds but after he finishes his actual playing days, he should be doing commentary and some writing. His language is good but cricket will be the main thing in his life. As a cricketer he has been fantastic, but outside of the game, he is also a good human being and does a lot of work silently for charity.
He once made a donation of Rs 1 lakh towards Mysore Zoo and even adopted two cheetahs. In 2012, he was made the special traffic warden for the city of Bengaluru. He said,
It’s a new responsibility for me and I hope to discharge my duties effectively. I will join hands with the traffic police in any initiative they come up with.
Not only has he mastered the art of batting but also has all the qualities to succeed off the field.
As the former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee once said,
If you don’t get along with Dravid, you are struggling with your life.