It was a foggy morning in the city of Kolkata. Like many mornings at the onset of winter, there was a nip in the air. Unlike, many November mornings, this one was dedicated to a cause.
On November 26, 2016, the City of Joy, famously known for the great East Bengal – Mohun Bagan football duels, was gearing up for a different kind of football tournament. Soccer for Child Rights organised the tournament to create awareness on the issue of education and raise funds to ensure children across projects supported by CRY (Child Rights and You) get to attend schools.
The players come in for a huddle, as the stage was by 7.30 am on Saturday.
The City of Joy has always witnessed unmatched passion for the game of football. This much-celebrated love for football took a new turn and became a platform for ensuring lasting change in the lives of many children.
The beautiful game of football is known to have changed lives for the better, and this time around; it was a wonderful opportunity for the city to show its concern for the rights of children in a unique manner.
Corporate entities like the Genius Consultants Ltd. came onboard to support the initiative, nine other corporate teams from around the city participated in the day-long tournament to vie for the winner’s trophy, and also stand united for the cause of children’s education.
Even the ground for the tournament was offered free of cost by the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.
Emerging as winners of the day, Md. Ali Ansari, Captain of the team from HDFC Bank, said, “We feel extremely proud to be part of this wonderful initiative and being the winners of the very first edition of the CRY Soccer for Child Rights, Kolkata.”
The team from Swiggy were the Runners-Up. “Though we lost, this feels amazing. And we’re so proud to be part of this noble cause,” said Abhishek Ghosh, Captain, Team Swiggy. However, the real winner of the day was child rights.
Present at the event, to encourage the players and to show solidarity to the cause, were football icons Chuni Goswami, Shyam Thapa, Goutam Sarkar, and actors Saayoni Ghosh and Debdut Ghosh. “It feels great to witness that so many corporate teams have come together to play for the cause of child rights. This involvement and passion will most definitely ensure lasting change for children,” said Chuni Goswami.
“I am here to show solidarity towards the cause of education, child freedom and child rights. I have always been a CRY supporter, and I think this is a wonderful way to bring the cause to the forefront,” said Saayoni Ghosh.
“For CRY, every individual and contribution matters. We have never set boundaries to the ways in which people can contribute towards the cause of child rights. In this context, Soccer for Child Rights is a significant step forward. Not only does it give the corporate employees an opportunity to take time off from their busy schedules for the game they love, but also gives them a platform to make a difference in the lives of lesser privileged children while doing what they love!” said Atindra Nath Das, Regional Director, CRY (East).
“The very idea behind Soccer for Child Rights is to bring focus to the fact that people from every walk of life must come together to uphold the rights of our children, in their own capacity, at every possible level. Investing in children today means that a country such as India has a chance to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty, inadequacy, malnutrition, abuse and violence. And investing in quality education is one of the very first steps,” Atindra Nath Das added.