(ICFAI conducts leadership conversations on the topic “Sports as a Social Mission: The Case of Slum Soccer”)
“The main mission of Slum Soccer is to transform the lives of slum children and we proved that the concept works “ observed Prof Vijay Barse, Founder of 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 education. Prof. Barse convinced his family members about his mission and spent all his money on 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 were 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 programs 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 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 to 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 Facebook.
About Speaker: Prof. Vijay Barse, Founder, Slum Soccer: Prof. Barse is a retired sports professor in Nagpur with 36 years of service. He did his higher education in M.A, MPED, and NIS in Physical education.
About Slum Soccer: During one rainy day in July 2001, he saw some slum children playing football with a small plastic broken bucket. He noticed that while they were playing football using buckets, they were away from all the bad activities such as smoking, stealing, pickpocketing, drinking, etc. The whole scenario inspired him to do something for the underprivileged. He organized a football tournament for the youth which turned out to be effective.
In 2001 he founded Krida Vikas Sanstha Nagpur which is widely known as Slum Soccer nationally and internationally. The organization conducts football tournaments and provides them a chance for rehabilitation to the deprived section of society. Out of the tournaments conducted by Slum Soccer he selected players to represent India on an International stage every year.
- In 2016 Slum Soccer became the first organization to be awarded the Diversity Award by FIFA.
- In 2018 FICCI was awarded Slum Soccer Gender Diversity Award.
- For his dedication to Slum Soccer, CNN IBN and Reliance foundation awarded him “The Real Hero Award” at the national level with a cash prize.
- His work was showcased on the Amir Khan show “Satyamev Jayate”.
- He was awarded Nagbhushan Award (Nagpur City Award) from Nagbhushan Foundation in 2019
- He was nominated by Nagpur Municipal Corporation to provide his services to Nagpur City between 2012 and 2017 as a Corporator.
- Krida Vikas Sanstha has sent team India to the Homeless World Cup since 2007. Every year men’s and women’s teams participate on an international stage.
- During his service, Mr. Barse represented India as a handball official in China and Hong Kong.
“Jhund” – A biopic of Mr. Barse: Recently, a movie “Jhund” was made based on the life of Mr. Barse and the lead role in the biopic was portrayed by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, which was directed by famous director Nagraj Manjule.
About ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education: The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education is a Deemed-to-be University under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956. ICFAI Business School (IBS) is a constituent of the ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education. About 5,800 students are pursuing various programs in the Faculty of Management (ICFAI Business School), Faculty of Science & Technology (IcfaiTech), Faculty of Law (ICFAI Law School), and ICFAI School of Architecture, NAAC, an autonomous institute of the University Grants Commission has also accredited The University with ‘A+’ Grade with an impressive score (institutional CGPA) of 3.43 out of 4.