Save The Children and Hope Foundation create awareness on #Balanceforbetter in the city
Kolkata, 8th March 2019: In tandem with the International Women’s Day theme for this year #BalanceforBetter, Save The Children and Hope Foundation hosted a friendly match at Abba Cricket Academy in Kolkata. The gender equal team bringing together girls and boys from Kolkata is all set to represent India at the Street Child Cricket World Cup (SCCWC) at Lord’s in London from April 30th 2019 to 8th May 2019.
The SCCWC will give an opportunity to children in street situations from nine countries to play at the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground. The Indian Team would be participating for the first ever SCCWC, this phenomenal moment will create ripples of hope among many young children living on the streets to dream for a chance to play cricket at the global level. They are all geared up to create cricket history in India by shattering the negative stereotypes about children living in street situations. Former Cricket Captain of India, Sourav Ganguly, was recently named as the Brand Ambassador of the Indian Team for the Street Child Cricket World Cup.
The event saw the girls being felicitated on the occasion of International Women's Day as a gesture to boost their morale for the upcoming World Cup in England. "Street Children Cricket World Cup promises to break the gender barriers by creating a very powerful space in which both boys and girls are playing together to make the children on streets visible, counted and heard”, shared Mr. Chittapriyo Sadhu, State Program Manager, West Bengal & Assam for Save Children.
Ms. Anjali Paswan, Ms. Millie Singh, Ms. Saraswati Dhanuk and Ms Lusi Sharma were felicitated by Ms. Geeta Venkandakrishnan, Director Hope Kolkata foundation and Mr. Chittapriya Sadhu, State Programme Manager, West Bengal and Assam, Save the Children. Saraswati Dhanuk, player Team India adds, “It is a great honour to be a part of this team and represent India for the SCCWC. We are undergoing practice as per the international format and we are happy to learn each day.
Both, Save the Children and Hope Foundation have been very encouraging in my journey”. The teams will play using the Street 20 format which is specially designed for SCCWC. Ms. Geeta Venkandakrishnan, Director Hope Kolkata Foundation adds, "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure. This cricket is all about to Balance for better”.
The event also highlighted the current situation of street children in India based on statistics from a recent report Save the Children, "Life on the Streets”, which highlights that a total of 84563 street children in five cities Kolkata & Howrah, Lucknow, Mughalsarai, Patna and Greater Hyderabad of which 21907 were found in Kolkata and Howrah (0.3 per cent of total population). Also, a large section of street children (46 and 37 per cent respectively) sleep on the roadside in Kolkata and Howrah. Overall, 20 per cent or more children do not have their families in the same city and lack of familial care turns out to be an important issue. According to the report, there is a clear indication of the total number of street-connected children across India exceeding 20 lakhs.
The 20 lakh children living on the streets are alone, unprotected and invisible. The tournament aims to unite people from various nations and spotlight the life of #TheInvisibles (street connected children). Off the pitch, the young people will make their voices heard and make recommendations to help improve the lives of street children worldwide. Masses are appealed to show support to make #TheInvisibles visible. Show your support to make #TheInvisiblesVisible.