4th April 2019
Meet Anjali, Millie, Jabir and Tarak, team North India’s batting line up for the Street Child Cricket World Cup.
Unsurprisingly in a nation of cricket fanatics, the Indian teenagers share a passion for the sport, but it’s their individual skills with a bat and ball that are set to take them from the streets of Kolkata to Lord’s!
Supporting our friends and charity partner The Hope Foundation, Wild Frontiers is helping to fund the players to travel to London later this month to participate in the inaugural event, which will see the final played at the home of cricket.
We are thrilled to assist HOPE and offer the young people the chance to not only show off their cricketing prowess, but the opportunity to be ambassadors and the voices for street children across the world.
The teenagers, who live within HOPE’s care in Kolkata, will join the North India team to take on other teams from Bangladesh, South India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Mauritius, Nepal and Tanzania to battle it out for the Street Child Cricket World Cup title.
In preparation for the event, team North India have been put through their paces by legendary batsman and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly. As the team's good will ambassador, Ganguly is helping to prepare the young cricketers for the tournament, which aims to raise awareness of the plight of street children across the world.
Our sponsorship is helping HOPE with obtaining birth certificates (no easy feat with street children), passports and visas; funding flights, sports kit, accommodation and accompanying carers to look after the children.
Anjali – aged 14
When she was five Anjali's father met with an accident and sadly passed away, forcing her, her mother and two brothers onto the streets. As a young girl left vulnerable on the streets of Kolkata, Anjali was taken out of the unsafe environment and into HOPE’s care.
Anjali now studies in Class 9 at high school and according to those around her, she has a remarkable quality for leadership, is very creative and has a passion for playing cricket.
She aspires to be a nurse or perhaps a flight attendant, but for now, she is concentrating on refining her batting technique as she prepares for the world cup.
Millie – aged 16
Millie has been in care since her parents left her at the age of two. Having been abandoned and in and out of various care homes, she had difficulties with building relationships and creating attachments.
Millie was taken into HOPE’s care in 2017, receiving special education support and counselling. HOPE’s intervention has bought many positive changes in her life. Millie overcame her shyness, found more confidence, and is now able to express her views and talk about what is happening around her.
She started to take part in activities at the protection home and according to carers has become very vocal! She attends school regularly, helps organise sporting activities in the community and dreams of a career in sport.
Jabir – aged 15
Jabir lived with his mother, father, four brothers and three sisters on the street pavement in the Gariahat area of Kolkata. His father was unemployed, addicted to drugs and violent. Jabir was physically and mentally abused by his father, who later died from tuberculosis. His mother was a daily labourer, but being the sole income earner it became very difficult for her to support her large family, forcing Jabir into child labour.
With intervention Jabir was placed in HOPE’s care and now feels safe and secure in the protection home with all the other children. He receives the love, care and affection that every child deserves, and the support required for his holistic development.
He started formal schooling and attends class regularly. Teachers say he is bright, intelligent and eager to pursue his education. When not in class, Jabir is playing cricket. He enjoys cricket coaching classes and has ambitions of becoming an allrounder.
Tarak – Aged 15
Tarak lived on the street in the Gariahat area of Kolkata with his mother. His father took little interest in taking care of his child and eventually left the family, forcing his mother to take a job at Gariahat market. With no one to take care of him while his mother was at work every day, Tarak would wander the streets. He was found lying sick on the street when the local police and social workers intervened and placed him in the care of HOPE’s boys’ protection home.
After counselling support and plenty of love and care, Tarak now mixes very well with the other children in the home. He did not attend school prior to his placement in the home, but after being given private tuition to help bridge the gap in his education, he formally started school.
Tarak is passionate about sports and regularly takes part in his school’s sporting activities. He attends cricket coaching classes and loves to imitate the style of his favourite batsman, Virat Kohli.
Through our own foundation, Wild Frontiers is proud to continue to support HOPE and will be cheering Anjali, Millie, Jabir, Tarak and their teammates on, hopefully, all the way to the final at Lord’s on 7th May!
The HOPE Foundation
The Hope Foundation has been supporting street and slum children in Kolkata since 1999, offering a secure environment for children to learn and grow. Now in its 20th year, HOPE operates and funds more than 60 projects in child protection, education, healthcare, drug rehabilitation, vocational training and emergency response for the city’s most forgotten and vulnerable children.
Speaking of the Street Child Cricket World Cup opportunity, HOPE’s Kolkata director, Geeta Venkadakrisham, said:
‘For the last 20 years The Hope Foundation has invested in the protection and education of children living on the streets and in the slum communities, we have helped over 55,000 children through education projects alone. Their rights, needs and potential are at the heart of all our work. We are very proud partners of the Street Child Cricket World Cup which will be a platform to recognise the voices and dreams of these vulnerable children. The event is an opportunity to raise awareness of the child’s right to belong to their own community, to the global community and to live life to their full potential.’
This is the first Cricket World Cup for street-connected children and will take place ahead of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. The tournament, organised by Street Child United, will bring together street children from across the globe to raise awareness and tackle the widespread stigma and negative treatment they face.
As a part of the event there will be a street child conference that will allow charity partners to demonstrate their work and give the young people a platform to share their own stories and ideas.
If you would like to cheer on the finalists at Lord’s, you can register here with Street Child United.
Children in HOPE's care along with children in the care of Save the Children India will come together to represent Team North India. #StreetChildCricketWorldCup #TeamNorthIndia