Name of Child: Udaya Kumar ( Name changed to protect the Identity of the child)
Place: SM Nagar, Vyasarpadi, Chennai
‘Football can change the character of a person’says Master Thangaraj, Mentor & Coach SCSTEDS football team.
A perfect case in point is Udaya Kumar, a star football player from the slums of Vyasarpadi in Chennai. Udaya Kumar was one of the 5 children, his single mother struggled to raise. Poverty ridden, she worked hard to make ends meet.
Frustrated by his circumstances Udaya began hanging out on the streets with his friends till late night. He quit school when he was12. In a desperate bid to escape from reality he turned to substance abuse and alcohol.
The Change: The situation would probably have gone from bad to worse, had it not been for the timely intervention of the SCSTEDS team. Having realized that sports goes a long way in the development of children, the SCSTEDS team encouraged Udaya to be a part of their football team. After he joined them, he was gradually and gently encouraged to join school. Slowly but steadily he began to show interest in his studies. He also started focussing on his practice sessions and made his way towards the under 18 Tamil Nadu state team! He further went on to represent India in the Homeless Soccer World Cup held at Sweden in 2011.
He continued his studies and pursued his bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications. Today a hero for the other youngsters at Vyasarpadi, Udaya Kumar is a perfect example that shows the power of sports in moulding a child’s life.
Udaya Kumar's Life Today: Udaya Kumar has recently cleared his service commission exams for the Tamil Nadu Police selection. He is the first youth in the entire slums of Vyasarpadi to get into a Permanent Government job.