“Chote! Humko jeetna hai aur Nita madam ke team ko harana hai! ” Salman Khan shouted at 12 years old Adesh Kumar, captain of the Nagpur slum soccer team as the game against Nita Ambani’s seven was kicked off.
And win the Nagpur team did – 3:1.
Slum Soccer U-14 team was invited to play a exhibiton match for the launch of Young Champs program by Reliance Foundation at Dhirubhai Ambani International School Ground, BKC, Mumbai.
The team from Slum Soccer was playing as Salman Khan’s 7 which defeated Nita Ambani’s 7 by 3-1 to emerge winners. After the match, there was a charity event wherein Salman Kahn shot 5 penalty kicks to the goal keeper Kshitij Sarmokadam from Slum Soccer and raised an amount of 10 lacs that would be distributed among 3 NGOs that participated in the event – Slum Soccer from Nagpur, Yuva team from Jharkhand and Magic Bus from Mumbai.
The Slum Soccer team actually consisted of four boys from Kolkata – who actually belong to a very poor community of rag pickers and cycle riksha pullers from the Malda District. Since football is in their blood in Bengal, they came to the notice of the Slum Soccer team from Bengal and were selected to be trained in their academy in Kolkata which works with the motto – Changing lives through football.
Three boys were from Nagpur and three from Wani district in Vidarbha.
The Kolkata boys were brought to Nagpur a month ago by train for the pre – tournament coaching. It was their first time to travel outside Bengal and first time in train. All the boys were super excited when they flew for the first time while going to Mumbai. They were all specially given window seats and as the plane tilted after take off the boys held on tight to their seats and started shouting “we are going to fall off the window! Save us please” much to the co passengers amusement. When the plane landed they all chanted ‘Mumbai’…Mumbai…which was a city they had seen only in films.
Since the travel and stay were all sponsored by Reliance they were put up at the posh Reliance guest house in Chuna Bhatti area where a lot of foreign guests of Reliance also stay. The kids , all between the ages of 12 and 12, were such quick learners that observing the foreigners they all started using forks and spoons and table napkins from the second day only, says their proud coach Joy.
The team got a lifetime opportunity to interact with both the celebrity Mrs Nita Ambani and Mr Salman Khan wherein they shared their happiness on the experience they had during their stay, travel and the match. They were later taken around in Mumbai to Gateway of India and even a boat ride in the Arabian Sea. Star TV also co sponsored the event along with Reliance and Salman Khan’s ‘Being Human’.
The Team is as follows:
Aadesh Kumar(c), Yogesh Kumar, Himal Reshmi, Sufiyan Sheikh, Kshtij Sarmokadam, Md Amir Hamja, Alauddin Islam, Karim Hoque, Sayedd Anower.
Md Saddam Hossain(asst Coach), Mr Akash Barse(coach), Dr Abhijeet Barse(Manager)