Karunalaya and Bharti Airtel announce team for Street Child World Cup 2014

Street Child World Cup 2014

Chennai based NGO Karunalaya and Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the Indian team for the forthcoming Street Child World Cup (SCWC) 2014 scheduled at Rio de Janerio, Brazil from 27th March–8thApril. A 12 member Indian contingent comprising of 9 players and 3 support volunteers are flying to Rio later this month for the soccer extravaganza and prove their mettle against 18 participating countries. India is the current defending champions and were represented by the Youth Football Club, Rurka Kalan (Punjab) in the 2010 edition of the Street Child World Cup held in South Africa.

Organized a few months ahead of the FIFA World Cup, the SCWC will unite street children from across 4 Continents from 19 countries including Brazil, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, El Salvador, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, USA, Nicaragua, Argentina England and India. This is the second edition of the World Cup after the maiden series in 2010 which was won by India. 15 teams of boys aged 14-16 years will compete against each other for the World Championship title over a period of 10 days playing 30 minute matches on 7-a-side football pitches (50m long X 30m wide).

The current Indian contingent comprises of children that include orphans and those who have run away from home due to difficult life conditions. Karunalaya with the support of Airtel have empowered these 9 kids by giving them a platform and an opportunity to not only play their favorite sport - soccer but also enabled them to travel half way across the globe for a never before experience and retain the championship. These kids have been training hard for the last 6 months in Chennai under special coaches and are gearing up for the World Cup to defend the title.

The runaway street children have been rescued by Karunalaya’s street educators (who are former street children rescued by Karunalaya) & volunteers and are provided a shelter home, food, clothing, education, recreation and counseling. Karunalaya also takes steps towards tracing the children’s family and reuniting them with their parents.

Excited for the forthcoming matches, D Kanadoss, Captain, Airtel – Karunalaya Team India, said, “When I was on the streets, I used to do odd jobs at the railway stations and sleep rough. I never knew that I could even dream of flying in an airplane or about playing football in Brazil. I still can’t believe that this happening for real. As the team captain I will ensure to motivate the team to play well and win the world cup”.

Held every 4 years as part of a global movement for street children organized by UK based Street Child United (SCU), the Street Child World Cup (SCWC) is a global campaign for the rights of street children. Through football, art and a unique international street child conference its aim is to provide a platform for street children to be heard, to challenge negative stereotypes of street children and to promote the rights of street children around the world. Apart from the soccer matches, several fun activities and sport & cultural events will also be organized for the children.

This is yet another effort of Airtel to nurture young football talent apart from the Airtel RISING STARS (ARS) talent huntwhich scouts and nurtures football talent from across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa. An annual proposition, it provides a promising platform for young football players in the age group of 14-16 years and awards the winners a 7-day training schedule at the Manchester United Soccer School in UK.

The Indian Team:

D Kannadoss(16 Years, Midfielder)
T Gopinath(16 Years, Goalkeeper)
A Prasanth(16 Years, Forward)
M Satish Kumar(16 Years, Midfielder)
V Karthick(16 Years, Forward)
Habib(14 Years, Forward)
Thangamuniyandi(16 Years, Defender)
C Ashok(16 Years, Defender)
Mohammed Hashim(14 Years, Forward)
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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