Satyamev Jayate - Jinhe Desh Ki Fikr Hai

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Small village big dreams

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Rurka Kalan is a small village in the Jalandhar district of Punjab. Though its love affair with football started in the 1960, it dwindled by the ’90s, with the rise of drug addiction amongst the youth.

In the year 2000, Gurumangal Dass, an engineer and MBA, wanted to rekindle the passion for this game. He got together with some others and founded the Youth Football Club. “It was a big challenge to get children off the streets and off drugs when the sports culture of the village had died,” says Mr Dass. “We wanted to use sports as a platform to develop the lives of the youth.” He was assisted by local labourers to build the grounds and NRIs from across the world pitched in monetarily.

The Club has not only coached thousands of football players over the years, but it has represented the country internationally as well. “In 2010, we represented the Indian national team at the Street Child World Cup in Durban, South Africa,” says Gurumangal Dass. While at Durban, Mr Dass noted how the matches were interspersed with art, craft and drama workshops as well as educational exposure for the kids.

This gave him the idea to start something similar at the club. “I was sure this would be very useful here, and started the Educational Football League (EFL). We saw a great effect of this—kids wanted join EFL,” says Mr Dass.  “This is having a very positive impact on the kids. They are focusing more on education and their own health.”

“Our dream is that every village has a similar field, and every young person, every old person and every community member plays in that field,” signs off Mr Dass.



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