Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): About two years ago, a ‘Football Kranti’ was kicked off with 1,000 clubs in villages of Shahdol district. This revolution created such an impact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the emerging football hub on June 27.
The prime minister will meet with around 100 of the best footballers in this newly-built football nursery in Pakariya village. A Chaupal of sort ambience has been created for the Prime Minister’s visit, where he will interact with locals and will have a local tribal cuisine.
The three-tier Football Kranti concept began with the founding of more than 1000 football clubs in villages in Shahdol district, which contains a substantial tribal population, mainly the Gond tribe and the vulnerable and backward Baiga tribe. At present, every gram panchayat has at least one football club in Shahdol.
About 85 tournaments were organised last year in Shahdol district. These competitions were organised at the inter-panchayat, inter-block, and inter-district levels. Along with this, two state-level tournaments were also hosted there in both girls and boys categories.
This local campaign began with the vision of motivating kids in every village to play football. "Why only football? Because it is one of the sports that can give maximum output with minimum input. All we need is a ball and a ground to inspire athletes to play this sport. We chose football because even someone coming from a financially weak background can play the sport," an official said.
Shahdol divisional commissioner Rajeev Sharma told the Free Press that, "We started this football revolution with help from the school education department, the sports and youth welfare department, and various other departments to divert the youth's mind from phone and drug addiction towards sports. This would help them lead a healthy lifestyle and can become a source to generate income as well."