Hima Das, Karnam Malleswari, Dipa Karmakar are just a few of the names you might have heard or remembered in the recent past due to their sporting achievements. They all come from different sporting fields but they have one thing in common-embracing success when life threw hardship at them.
Child Rights and You (CRY), one of the leading NGO’s in its pursuit to bring a lasting change in the lives of children has been using soccer as its medium. Bheemabhai from Vysarpadi the winner of this year’s Ashoka Youth Venture Award is a standing example of how success emerges from the bed of opportunity.
A Dalit, Bheemabhai was often discriminated in school and in her neighbourhood. Her only solace was playing football with her peers after school. When the abuse at school got unbearable, she dropped out which is when Vyasarpadi Children’s Empowerment Project took her under their wings and made her dream again.
Soccer was the excuse through which she was reintroduced to education and the rest is history. She not only excelled in her education but won several prestigious awards to propel her dreams towards a bright future.
Today while Hima has raced into everyone’s heart by her recent run to fame, Karnam Malleswari a weightlifter lifted a nation’s hope by winning a bronze medal in 2000 Sydney Olympics and on the other hand Dipa exhibited one of the finest shows as a gymnast in Rio games 2016. It is time that the gap between the privileged and the marginalized sectors of the society are bridged and more children like Bheemabhai get a chance to represent their nation and write their own success story.
Realizing the potential of soccer, Child Rights and You (CRY) in association with the Vysarpdi Children’s Empowerment Project has been organizing a tournament called Soccer for Child Rights. This year’s event, AON-Soccer for Child Rights will work towards providing children with uninterrupted education and ensure a child’s right to childhood.
“In the last 3 years, we have seen the tournament grow to become an event that is hailed as a one-of-a-kind initiative where corporate teams come together along with the less privileged teams to lend their support to the cause. Soccer acts as a medium where both inspire each other all over a friendly game of football. The tournament that was started in Chennai 4 years ago has today spread its wings to Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi,” said Suma Ravi, Regional Director (South), CRY.
Increase in education means lesser number of children will be affected by child marriage and child labour. CRY has been advocating bringing all children between the age group of 15-18 under the purview of Right to Education (RTE) and the Labour Act which currently safeguards children between 6-14 years. Such measures along with better incentives and opportunity will ensure children from the marginalized sector with a better chance to childhood.
Child Rights and You is an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s right to a childhood – to live, learn, grow and play. For 4 decades, CRY and its 850 initiatives have worked with parents and communities to ensure Lasting Change in the lives of more than 2,000,000 underprivileged children, across 23 states in India. For more information please visit us a www.cry.org
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.