It is one thing to be born and another to make that life worth living. Udaya Kumar’s story is one to be reckoned with – a school drop out at the age of 12, grappling with alcoholism and substance abuse to representing India at the Homeless Soccer World Cup in Sweden.
To call ‘life of poverty’ as difficult and hard is merely scratching the surface of a problem that lives in the bones of more than 22% people in India. Life of rejection, fear, anger and oblivion is all that the youth of the underprivileged section is forced to look forward to. Their stories are bitten to pieces and lost forever in the rumbles of political debates.
But life had a different plan for Udaya. CRY, an Indian NGO working to ensure deprived children their right to live a healthy life free from exploitation, took Udaya in for their Soccer for Child rights project. The project aims at using sports, particularly football to instill and develop confidence, direction and empowerment in slum children.
CRY has been organising soccer tournaments in Chennai since the year 2014 to motivate children from its project Slum Children Sports Talent Education Development Society (SCSTEDS). The event sees the participation of corporate employees who act as inspiration for the players from SCSTEDS. Also, it is a chance for corporate employees to witness the heroic journey of these humble players – bonding and bridging gaps over a game of football.
Soccer for Child Rights 2016 in Chennai saw 11 corporate teams and one team from SCSTEDS compete at YMCA Grounds. Losing every bit of brick and mortar during Chennai floods, this event acted as the much needed reassurance and was warmly embraced by the children of SCSTEDS. After Chennai, Soccer for Child Rights is all set to spread joy, hope and love in Bangalore.
The enthusiastic team from the slums of Vyasarpadi, the oldest and the largest slum of Chennai, with more than 1.5 lac people – will take on the team of corporate players at the Holy Ghost Church Grounds on 16th of July.
Like any slum area, this place too has bad roads, no clean water supply and lacks proper sanitation facilities. With the main aim to promote social and collective responsibility SCSTEDS project employs sport (particularly football) as catalyst to drive social change in the marginalized communities. Interest in sport is inculcated amongst children through professional coaching – which is in turn used as a platform to improve the status of education and check child labour in the project area. For more details, visit: http://www.cry.org/about-cry/stories-of-hope/scsteds-story-of-change-in-an-urban-slum-photo.html
Make your Saturday extra special and celebrate the victory on odds with this extraordinary football team. After all, how many times we get a chance to witness something so powerful and inspirational.
Everyone DESERVES a second chance. Keeping this mission and vision in mind CRY projects aim at bringing transformation right from the grassroots level. Empowering and enabling those who are always the first victims at the hands of crippled policies and skewed mentality. Sports helps to build losses. It provides a solid platform to develop life skills, and succeeds in etching a different story for people like Udaya.
Swipe partners with NGOs to bring change in the society using SWIPE data. We take each issue based on its merit and demerit and engage people in fruitful and sincere discussion. We believe in taking responsibility by engaging with NGOs, Civil society organisations, media and government and ensure that public opinion reaches it’s right place. We believe in people’s power. A big cheer to all the efforts, courage and resilience that make stories of ‘change’ happen.