This orphanages kids got a unique gift from Bandra residents: A bus for their football teams
Train mein bahut dhakka bukki hota hai. Par ab hum khush hai, says 13-year-old Pradeep Tangade,a resident of St Catherine of Siena Orphanage at Bandra.
Pradeep has a reason to be ecstatic. For the last three years,each time this Ronaldo fan had to play a football tournament,he had to brave the crowds in the second class mens compartment to travel from Bandra to Azad Maidan in South Mumbai. On Friday,the girls and boys football team at the orphanage received a sunshine yellow gift: A bus to ferry them to the venues of the many tournaments they play.
The bus was a gift from Bandra residents,who bought the vehicle from part of the money they raised during their once-in-two-years event,Celebrate Bandra.
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Even though the orphanage has only a primary school,these kids compete with children from the best of schools. Just last year,the girls team bagged the trophy for winning the zonal level match. But its quite a task for their coach to take a bunch of 18 students at a time by bus or train. This year,we decided to buy the orphanage kids a bus so as to encourage them to play even better, says Bandra resident Shyama Kulkarni,an active member of the team behind Celebrate Bandra.
As a mark of their gratitude,the children gave out greeting cards made by them with pictures of a bus on each oneof them.
The orphanage has about six football teams of girls and boys,across various age categories. It took a lot of effort to introduce sports to our children. They are orphaned and destitute children,used to playing without rules. We give them serious coaching in sports,for it teaches them to play with a purpose, says Brother Joseph Sebastian,who is incharge of the orphanage. He believes that football marked the transition for his children from the recklessness of the street to an institutional discipline.
The children,on their part,have learnt their lessons well. Eleven-year old Asha Patil says that simple sporting concepts like giving a pass have taught her the importance of sharing. Asha,whose parents passed away a long time ago leaving her behind with three sisters,wants to grow up to be a dancer.
Her friend Lalita Bist (13),who is the captain of the team that bagged the trophy last year,wants to become a professional footballer. But all that will be later. Right now we are very excited about our yellow bus. All of us will be taken for a ride to Bandra Bandstand, giggles Lalita. A beaming Brother Joseph adds,They wont stop now that they have got wings to fly.
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