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    Team comprising of 9 children to represent India at the Street Child World Cup (SCWC) 2014 at Rio, Brazil
    Airtel to support NGO Karunalaya by sponsoring Team India
     
    New Delhi, March 1, 2014: Chennai based NGO Karunalaya and Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the Indian team for the forthcoming Street Child World Cup (SCWC) 2014 scheduled at Rio de Janerio, Brazil from 27th March–8thApril. A 12 member Indian contingent comprising of 9 players and 3 support volunteers are flying to Rio later this month for the soccer extravaganza and prove their mettle against 18 participating countries. India is the current defending champions and were represented by the Youth Football Club, Rurka Kalan (Punjab) in the 2010 edition of the Street Child World Cup held in South Africa.
     
    Organized a few months ahead of the FIFA World Cup, the SCWC will unite street children from across 4 Continents from 19 countries including Brazil, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, El Salvador, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, USA, Nicaragua, Argentina England and India. This is the second edition of the World Cup after the maiden series in 2010 which was won by India. 15 teams of boys aged 14-16 years will compete against each other for the World Championship title over a period of 10 days playing 30 minute matches on 7-a-side football pitches (50m long X 30m wide).
     
    The current Indian contingent comprises of children that include orphans and those who have run away from home due to difficult life conditions. Karunalaya with the support of Airtel have empowered these 9 kids by giving them a platform and an opportunity to not only play their favorite sport - soccer but also enabled them to travel half way across the globe for a never before experience and retain the championship. These kids have been training hard for the last 6 months in Chennai under special coaches and are gearing up for the World Cup to defend the title.
     
    The runaway street children have been rescued by Karunalaya’s street educators (who are former street children rescued by Karunalaya) & volunteers and are provided a shelter home, food, clothing, education, recreation and counseling. Karunalaya also takes steps towards tracing the children’s family and reuniting them with their parents.
     
    Excited for the forthcoming matches, D Kanadoss, Captain, Airtel – Karunalaya Team India, said, “When I was on the streets, I used to do odd jobs at the railway stations and sleep rough. I never knew that I could even dream of flying in an airplane or about playing football in Brazil. I still can’t believe that this happening for real. As the team captain I will ensure to motivate the team to play well and win the world cup”.
     
    Held every 4 years as part of a global movement for street children organized by UK based Street Child United (SCU), the Street Child World Cup (SCWC) is a global campaign for the rights of street children. Through football, art and a unique international street child conference its aim is to provide a platform for street children to be heard, to challenge negative stereotypes of street children and to promote the rights of street children around the world. Apart from the soccer matches, several fun activities and sport & cultural events will also be organized for the children.
     
    This is yet another effort of Airtel to nurture young football talent apart from the Airtel RISING STARS (ARS) talent huntwhich scouts and nurtures football talent from across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa. An annual proposition, it provides a promising platform for young football players in the age group of 14-16 years and awards the winners a 7-day training schedule at the Manchester United Soccer School in UK.
     
    An introduction of the fabulous team
     
    S.No Name Playing position A glimpse on his life
    1.  
    D Kannadoss
     
    recharge now
    Mid-field He is aged 16 and aspires to become a great football player and trains hard. A run away from his home due his father’s dual family, Kannadoss has found that his talent is hidden in sports and cultural dances than studies.
    2.
    Mohammed Hashim
     
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      Forward A 14 year old Mohammed is from Kerala. A run-away from his home due to ill treatments and severe beating, he loves football and is a promising star in the team.
    3.
    T Gopinath
     
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        Goalkeeper A 16 year old from Salem, he is a run-away who underwent years of physical and mental abuse before finding solace with Karunalaya. Apart from being a football fanatic, he takes keen interests in studies.
    4.
    A Prasanth
     
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      Forward The 16 year old is run-away from home after he fell into wrong friendship groups of gambling. He takes keen interests in studies apart from football.
    5.
    M Satish Kumar
     
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      Mid-field He is 16 years old and a good singer apart from a good footballer. He ran away from home due to severe beatings at the hand of his step-mother.
    6.
    V Karthick
     
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      Forward He takes keen interest in his studies apart from football. 16 years of age, he used to live on the streets and railway station pavement before he was rescued.
    7.
    Habib
     
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      Forward Of the youngest in the team, 14 year old Habib is from Maharashtra. He ran away from home due to the physical ill treatments at the hands of his step-father.
    8.
    Thangamuniyandi
     
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        Defender The 16 year old hails from Madurai. He was forced out of home to work as a labourer at the age of 10 by his family under in-humane conditions before he was rescued by Karunlaya. Though he was reunited with his family, he came back to Karunalaya to accomplish his educational dreams.
    9.
    C Ashok
     
    recharge now
      Defender The 16 year old is a run away from home due to severe beatings by his alcohol addict father.
     
    About Karunalaya Social Service Society
    Karunalaya Social Service Society is a nonprofit, secular voluntary organization dedicated for the protection, development and rehabilitation of runaway, destitute, street children since the year 1995 in Chennai City. Karunalaya have rescued and reintegrated street children with their families in many states of India and in neighboring Country Nepal. Karunalaya had the honour of receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in the year 2005 for the service rendered for the Tsunami affected people in Chennai City. Karunalaya have led the Madras NGO forum for street children in Chennai and are advocating for the rights of the most vulnerable children.
     
    About Bharti Airtel
    Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 289 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2014. To know more please visit, www.airtel.in
     
    For more information, please contact:
    N. Paul Sunder Singh, Karunalaya, 
    info@karunalaya.in., +919444 138348