Nagraj Manjule, the director of Sairat and Fandry recently announced his Bollywood project starring Amitabh Bachchan. This new movie falls in the category of ‘biopics’ and it is based on the life of Vijay Barse.
‘Okay! So who is Vijay Barse?’ Perhaps this is the question that is hovering over your mind right now. Vijay Barse is a retired sports teacher and the founder of Slum Soccer – a football oriented NGO for slum children. There are no rules in its tournaments and it has been brought into existence so as to give a new direction to these underprivileged kids.
Let’s dive in and know more about Vijay Barse, the football tournament, and of course, the biopic:
The Start of the Slum Soccer
It was in the year 2001 that Vijay Barse founded Slum Soccer in Nagpur. Vijay’s primary influence behind ‘Jopadhpatti Football’ (as it was called in the initial days) was when he coached a few slum children who would gather to play football on weekend.
Vijay observed that these children enjoyed the game and were too happy to find someone who could instruct them and make them better at the game. It was during this time he found out that football could change the lives of the slum children. And thus began a unique football tournament – Slum Soccer. In a nutshell, the concept of Slum Soccer endeavors to empower these children and improve their lives socially.
The Prominence of Vijay Barse’s NGO
If you think Slum Soccer is a buzzword in and around Nagpur, then this will surely be an eye-opener. The teams at Slum Soccer have represented India internationally. The organization also has FIFA Diversity Award to its credit. In addition, it holds other awards and recognitions such as FICCI India Sports Award, Reliance Real hero Award, and Manthan eNGO Award in communication & outreach category.
The Stats of Slum Soccer
The organization has so far trained 16 slum children to represent the nation in the Homeless World Cup. Further, it always ensures that children hailing from slums and with interest in football participate in National Inclusion Cup.
In the year 2017, 400 children took part in the same. While, The ‘Zopadpatti Central Tournament’ in Nagpur had 1,200 kids as participants, the ‘Gamesca Soccer League’ saw the enrollment of 420 children. At present, the initiative of Vijay Barse reaches at least 500 children every year. It enrolls them into a program that ensures their physical wellbeing, education, football mentorship, and nourishment. It also aims to increase the figure to 700 children in 50 more cities.
Vijay Barse on His Biopic
Vijay’s initiative is something that makes the whole country proud. However, he never thought that his work will make for an interesting subject for movies.
Nagraj met him in the year 2016 and expressed his wish to make a biopic on him. It is quite interesting to know that Vijay did not recognize him as he is not a big fan of television and movies [Irony indeed].
But he is glad that Big B has been roped in to play his part as he has got a massive following and Slum Soccer will surely get more recognition and fame through the ‘Shehensha of Bollywood.’