So, What’s Slum Soccer?

The unbridled joy on the faces of a few street children kicking a broken bucket around a slushy ground in an impromptu game of football, blissfully unaware of the pelting rain in the midst of a sudden rainstorm, prompted the founding of our organization; Slum Soccer. The ‘beautiful game’ is a unique and yet, a perfect vehicle that transcends race, religion, language and gender to bring about a change in the lives of street dwellers. To equip the underprivileged to deal with and emerge from the disadvantages riding on the back of their homelessness, we use the medium of football. Unconventional as it may seem, development through sport has a track record of being successful, across continents and from our own experience.

India, the second most populous nation in the world, has a population of well over a billion people. 170 million of these people live on the streets with no place to call home and account for 17% of the world’s entire slum dwelling population. 260 million people in India, earn less than $1 a day (Source – UN Habitat). A sizeable portion of these 170 million people are women and children; and they are denied even the most basic rights of survival and protection.

The Indian government has been able to do precious little in terms of developing a comprehensive policy to tackle the problem of homelessness and indeed even official census figures are lamentably off the mark. The net result is that living on the streets renders the homeless especially vulnerable to victimization, exploitation, and violation of their civil and economic rights.

Slum Soccer was registered as a Non Governmental Public Charitable Trust Organization governed by the Public Trust Act of the state of Maharashtra in 2001 under a board of directors. The organization is subject to periodic financial audit by law. We function with the ultimate aim of reaching out to the Indian homeless using football as a tool for social improvement and empowerment.