Chennai: Apart from education, the one thing that can help in the upliftment of underprivileged communities, is sports.
Taking this as cue, two Ezhil Nagar residents at Thoraipakkam have taken upon themselves, to train the children in Kabaddi.
The duo- Shanmugam (20), a third-year B Com student and Ansari (18), an auto driver, have been coaching the little ones for about two-and-a-half-years now, calling themselves ‘SK Ezhil Nagar Kabaddi boys.’
Shanmugam said, ‘Children here get easily addicted to substance abuse. We wanted to divert them. As of now, we have a total of 30 students who come regularly.’
‘The sessions used to take place at a primary schools grounds, but since we faced opposition from few anti-social elements, the police personnel of Kannagi Nagar stepped in.
They asked us to utilise the ground opposite the police station. They even put additional lights and gave gears and equipment for the students.
In fact, S K stands for Siva Kumar, named after the former Kannagi Nagar Inspector, who helped us in running the classes. He gave all the support we needed,’ he added.
Currently, Inspector Veerakumar and Sub-Inspector Amar have been guiding the team. ‘We help the children understand the benefits of pursuing sports. We tell them about sports quota and how to use it to get into the police department and other government jobs, about playing in the District or State-level and so on.
The students need the inspiration, as Kannagi Nagar has less number of people employed in the government,’ Shanmugham stated. The classes are conducted free of cost, as the students cannot afford to pay, it is learnt.
During the sessions, we also give them time to share their family situations and give them healthy advice on how to cope up with the same. Police personnel too visit and address the children at times , said Shanmugam.