Abhijeet Barse, CEO of Slum Soccer, an organization which instills dignity and confidence in the lives of underprivileged children through the medium of football will be speaking at Chowgule College this Saturday, 3rd August for its first edition of the Chowgule Conversation series.
Chowgule Conversations is a series of inspirational stories told by everyday people who have done extraordinary things. The series is an attempt to share the personal stories of people who have gone out of their way to make a change in the lives of others.
Founded by Abhijeet’s father Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher from Nagpur, Slum Soccer’s mission has been to reach out to homeless kids using the wonderful game of football as a tool for social improvement and empowerment. It all began over a decade ago when Vijay Barse saw a bunch of slum kids playing the game of football in the rain using a broken bucket! He decided to train the children in the sport. What started as a few football classes in Nagpur’s slums termed ‘jhoparpatti football’ by the kids eventually turned into Slum Soccer.
Today Slum Soccer operates in 63 districts across the country bringing positive influence to the lives of over 70,000 men, women and children. The organization conducts football coaching camps, training sessions, healthcare workshops and personality development sessions and slum soccer tournaments for underprivileged children. Through the sport, Slum Soccer has helped thousands of young people bring dignity into their lives. The slum soccer team represents India each year at the Homeless World Cup.
Abhijeet is the first Indian to be elected as a board member of Street Football World at the general assembly held in Lyon, France last year. Street Football World is a worldwide known organization having presence in over 50 countries. FIFA and UEFA are among some of the esteemed organizations which are in collaboration with Street Football to support the homeless and the underprivileged around the globe for a better future.
Says Dr. R. V Gaonkar, Principal, Chowgule College, “This year we have started with a new initiative – Chowgule Conversations. Abhijeet Barse, CEO, Slum Soccer will speak to our students about his personal journey. At Chowgule College, in addition to academic excellence we also lay emphasis on instilling sound values, inspiring higher thought and motivating our students to be better individuals.”
Chowgule College has over the years invited various achievers from across the country to interact with its students. Chetan Bhagat, Nandita Das, Viswanathan Anand and Geet Sethi among others have been speakers at the college.