Fourteen-year-old Diya Shukla was moved by the plight of sports infrastructure and facilities when she travelled across the country to take part in tennis tournaments. What moved her more was the lack of opportunities for underprivileged children who aspired to excel in sports.
After talking to her parents and her coach Dronacharya Mishra, Shukla came up with a platform, “Playmakers Foundation” in January this year. A class 8 student of a local private school, Shukla has now come up with a girls’ soccer team. The foundation has identified 85 children from underprivileged background to be included in various sports activities and offer them the required training.
The children have been selected from DLF Phase-1, Sushant Lok, and Sector 57 and Shukla intends to reach other areas to help the children living in the slums.
The all-girls soccer team was launched on Monday and the team members were provided sports shoes, clothes, and motivation to play in keeping with aim of the foundation to nurture sporting talent from the slums.
A resident of DLF Phase-1, Shukla trains the children thrice a week in the evening and imparts fitness training on Saturday. She is helped by a group of eight people, including soccer coaches.
“There is no dearth of children living in the slums with necessary skills to excel in a particular sport. We need to identify the talent and hone their skills to make them sporting icons,” Shukla said.
She is presently spending from her savings but intends to use crowd funding to further her cause. She is looking for more volunteers who can join the initiative.
“We will provide sports equipment to her from the department. It is a noble venture which we will support it,” said Parasram, district sports officer, who met the soccer team members on Monday.