EUDEVA JUVENILE PROGRAM:-
Sudeva NGO also runs a football training program for the Juveniles in New Delhi.
This is howfootball is changing the lives of kids in India’s juvenile homes.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the past few years, a group of boys, aged 13-16 years old, wait for two coaches and a man in a coat to arrive with a net full of footballs.
The teenagers are standing in a neat horizontal line over a green field scribbled with dew.
As the men walk towards them, smiles break their faces, like the sun on a misty Delhi morning, and the line stirs to life. Within minutes, they are running between cones, dribbling past them and passing between them. It’s an amateur round offootball, but its genuine – played with the heart than the feet. Tactics don’t mean anything here – expression does.
This field is no man’s land: one which teases the kids of the freedom that lies beyond the imposing barbed wires while reminding them of the captivity in the adjoining dormitories.
At one end, there’s a towering gate with massive bolts, echoing and shielding the cries heard at any football game. At the other, a big blank wall.
This is not just another football game – and these are not just any other kids – they range from, in the words of thefacility’s superintendent, “pickpockets to murderers”.
We believe that these sessions are meant to create a direct pipeline of talent into the organisation’s teams – and into India’s massive sporting cycle, where many get lost and the few who are found can earn money and fame.
“When I started Sudeva, I asked myself: am I able to find sporting talent from all spheres of the community? We’ve seen examples of adults released from prisons in America and making it big in sport. But I wanted to start young – if I find one kid who can go on to play professionally, it would set a huge example. One of the main reasons for these youngsters committing crimes is money and if I can, through sport, manage to solve this need, it will stop them from reverting to other methods. When these guys are released I want to give them food, accommodation and sporting knowledge, along with one vocational course. I want to keep them together,”34-year-old Gupta explained.
Our road-map is simple:
- Take football to their doorstep e. the juvenile home
- Hire a specialisedfootball coach and an ex-juvenile to accompany him to better understand the needs of the kids
- This ex-juvenile will also help track the kids sifter they’re released and convince them/their parents to let them start a new life through sport if they’re good enough
- Make the kids join the academy and nurture their talent – provide them nutrition, accommodation, a vocational course and open schooling.
- Play them in a top league in the country.
Initially the pull for them is always money – and then, slowly, they will realise they can develop and make a life through sport,” Gupta added.