The field was barren, rocky, uneven, patchy and strewn with empty plastic cups and bags. The players: a bunch of slum kids, an eager young German football fan and a business school student from France. The day was sunny and spirits soared high.
Welcome to the project why secondary kids first football match of the season: an initiative of young Lukas, a volunteer from Koln who is with us for a couple of months. And there are more to come.
Unfortunately I was not there but the pictures and the excitement of young Lukas as he recounted the event were sufficient to know that it had been a great game. I was thrilled to learn that the children played extremely well and that some were good enough to be in a team. And yet I knew that these kids would never make it, not because they lacked talent or motivation, but simply because once again we as adults had failed them. The state of the field - actually the sports ground of the two local secondary schools - said it all. Barren, rocky, dirty. Such is the state of sports in state run schools in spite of hefty budgets. And slowly with time the enthusiasm and talent dwindle and vanish and with them the dreams of simple children.
And yet all is takes to reignite them is a young boy from another land who dreams football and comes from miles away to share his dream with children from a Delhi slum.