When beasportcampaign.com, a social media initiative, launches today, a visit from you may help underprivileged Indian kids have a ball of a time. For every view on the website, private and corporate donors will add R1 to help generate money to send kids from the city-based NGO, Magic Bus, to play cricket against African-American kids from impoverished areas in Los Angeles. While cricketer Zaheer Khan will coach one team, the other will train with American rapper Snoop Dogg.
That’s not all. Future plans, if they manage to raise enough money, include another visit to the US and one to England, that will see these Indian kids play against junior NBA and Premier League teams later this year.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked non-stop to enlist some of India’s best-known companies and celebrities to join this journey, so we can prove how each person can help create self-sufficiency for Magic Bus,” says Sonny Caberwal, founder and director of the campaign, who is also the co-founder of shopping portal shersingh.com.
Matthew Spacie, CEO, Magic Bus, adds, “Sports with mentoring can be used to get children to re-enrol in school, lead healthy lives, and confront gender problems.” Spacie’s NGO is currently helping over two lakh children in nearly 3,000 slums in India.
Apart from coaching the team, Zaheer has other plans. “I’ll be using Twitter and social media to create awareness about the program. I’ll be chatting with kids online.” Other celebrities who are lending their support to the cause include Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Imran Khan, Kunal Kapoor and Sidhartha Mallya.
How it works
The programme hopes to grow 500 per cent over two years, to support one million kids in India. To achieve this, it needs a massive budget. The NGO currently has over 2,000 employees.
You can lend your support by tweeting with #beasport or logging on to beasportcampaign.com. For each view on the site, donors will add R1 to the fund. In the first phase, they’re looking for one million views. Celebrities who wish to contribute more to the programme can participate in weekly Google Hangouts, which are online chats between them and kids from Magic Bus.