Source: Hindustan Times (03-Sept-2017)

How a coach is changing the lives of young slum dwellers in Madhya Pradesh

For over 30 kids, dwelling in the slums of Burhanpur, a small district on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, football is an absolute game changer. All thanks to their 21-year-old football coach Surendra Sharma .

Born in a small village called Kesur in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district, Surendra was only three years old when his father passed away. His mother felt more estranged with the family and the toddler than ever after her husband’s death and disappeared down the road to be never seen again. While two of his sisters were left to the care of his maternal uncle, a young Surendra was entrusted to the care of his maternal aunt who raised him in Burhanpur. Surendra was determined to take up football as a career from a tender age and had to put up a fight to follow his dream. Today, Surendra works at a coach at the Football School of India. He uses his own salary to train over 30 underprivileged kids from the nearby slums free of cost.  Surendra, who started working with them 2 years ago, is setting up his dream organisation to help these football aspirants which is set to launch next month.

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