On occasion of the National Girl Child Day, on 24th January 2017, NYCS along with Nurturing Excellence in Sports Trust (NEST) launched ‘Khelegi toh Khilegi’, a pan-India football based programme for girls between the age of 10-15 years. It aims at developing girls football in the country, with an intention to make them represent India at global sporting events like the World Cup. Using football as a tool to break gender stereotypes, improve selfesteem and develop leadership skills to empower girl child. The project also plans to organise various workshops where issues relating to the girl child will be addressed such as health & hygiene, girl safety, gender equality and development through sports.
The Education and Empowerment of Women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all. We need that change to happen. Change here implies in working towards increasing and improving the individual, social and economic strength of the women. Women by themselves have all the capacity and some times more strength to drive the society towards better life. All that they need is equal opportunities. National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS) has always believed in the spirit of womanhood to be the backbone of any society and this strong belief and thought reflects in their projects as well.
Kick Off At Delhi Event
The first event at Delhi was flagged off by the Chief Guest, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Honorable Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India. Other dignitaries included Honorable Member of Parliament, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Justice Siddharth Mridul of the Delhi High Court, Shri DD Misra, Director HR ONGC Ltd, Smt. Kiran Nadar, noted philanthropist, Shri Shaji Prabhakaran, Federation International de Football Association's (FIFA) South Asian Regional Football Development Officer, NYCS president Shri Rajesh Pande, Smt. Asha Narang, Chairperson Anglian Omega Group, Shri V.K. Goel, Chairman Dhampur Sugar Mills Limited and Shri A.K. Goel, Vice Chairman Dhampur Sugar Mills Limited.
The girls were divided into groups of twenty eight to play football. The football sessions lasted for one hour for each group that included warm up, drills and then a seven a side match of five minutes each. The event also saw performances from the AV Baliga trust on the theme of “Save The Girl Child” and a nukkad natak by a theatre group of girls from Kamala Nehru College. The event was well guarded by female security guards and a child protection policy was signed by all the parties involved in the event to ensure the safety of participants, along with a group insurance policy for them.
The Pune Event
After the successful of the program in Delhi the second event of this pan India initiative took place on 24th April 2017 at the Balewadi Stadium, Pune. This event was organized jointly by Kovida NYCS, NEST and Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd (MNGL). Chhatrapati Smt. Madhurima Raje graced and inaugurated the function. Also present on the occasion were the managing director of MNGL Shri. A. M Tambekar and independent director Shri. Rajesh Pande. More than 650 girls participated in this football initiative including 50 girls from Kolhapur Sports Association.
The Future Of Women Football
We have seen in the recent past women sportspersons have been performing consistently at the international level. The Indian Women’s football team ranks 54th in the world today, which is a much better rank than the men’s team. NYCS believes that with the right exposure and avenues to develop “Khelegi toh Khilegi” can also be a change agent to bring about a positive impact to empower the girl child.
Feminism or women empowerment is not about making women strong. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength. NYCS wishes to make a bold statement with the program “Khelegi toh Khilegi”. It wants to announce that together we can unleash the power in women and empower them to make the country proud. All we need is to - Be bold for the change, be ready for the change and be the change.