ICFAI conducts leadership conversations on the topic “Sports as a Social Mission : The Case of Slum Soccer
The main mission of the Slum Soccer is to transform the lives of slum children and we proved that the concept works “ observed Prof Vijay Barse, Founder Slum Soccer at the 52nd WiseViews Leadership Conversations conducted by ICFAI on April 22, 2022 at 7.30 pm. Prof Barse delivered a talk on “Sports as a Social Mission : The Case of Slum Soccer.
Prof. Barse began his talk by explaining how he started this mission. In 2001 he noticed some slum children playing football with a broken bucket on a rainy day. Interestingly, during the entire duration of the match, they stayed away from bad habits such as smoking, drinking, consuming drugs etc. That moment triggered him to start “Slum Soccer”. “Though these children do not have food to eat, they have more stamina than the others who had all the facilities and they can play for long hours without tiring”. Prof. Barse said.
Prof. Barse initially gave them a football and asked them to play on a daily basis. Slowly, he motivated them to learn Maths and English other than Marathi. He altered the regular rules of football to encourage more and more kids to come forward and participate in the games conducted by Prof. Barse. He gave them food and fruits along with the education. Prof. Barse convinced his family members about his mission and spent all his money to the welfare of these kids.
Prof. Barse identified 28 teams in the first year which grew into a national tournament from 2003 onwards where 16 states participated. The finals of this tournament was covered by the national and international media. The coverage attracted many sponsors to conduct football tournaments from 2008 onwards. From that year onwards Slum Soccer is conducting tournaments year on year on a regular basis. With the sponsorship, he provided good clothing and footwear and even scholarships to these slum children which helped them to transform their miserable life.
Prof. Barse designed some special program for girls as well where he worked towards the health problems faced by girls during their adolescent stage. He also stated that after the movie “Jhund”, his work was noticed worldwide and he thanked film actor Amitabh Bachchan and Director Nagraj Manjule for making this film based on his life.
Answering to a query in the Q & A session, Prof. Barse said “The local government authorities should work diligently to identify the best talent irrespective of the community they belong and train them to harness their skills and if that happens, then our kids too can do wonders in International tournaments including Olympics”.
The conversation was moderated by Prof. R Prasad, Director – Academic Wing, ICFAI Group and Prof. Sudhakar Rao, Director – Branding, ICFAI Group.
About 250 participants including researchers, faculty, working professionals, and students attended the webinar which was also live streamed on the facebook.