As home to over 2000 slum settlements comprising mostly of migrant workers, Bangalore witnesses the rise and subsequent fall of thousands of young men who came to the city with big dreams for a better life but are held back by a range of social issues that grip these settlements. Most of the residents of these slums are employed in the informal sector – as domestic helpers, sweepers, manual labourers or at other menial jobs that often do not pay them enough to make ends meet or move ahead in life.
In such dire circumstances, good education for their young ones is completely out of the question. Many of these children are enrolled in government-run public schools that provide free education. But without motivation and guidance, most young boys drop out of school and are pulled into dangerous habits such as gambling, drugs and petty crimes from a very young age. As young men with little to no education and no proper training, they often have to shoulder the tremendous financial burden of being the sole-earning member supporting a large family. But lacking proper skills and opportunities, these young men eventually fall back into bad habits and continue to perpetuate the toxic cycles of abuse and violence that held them back.
To meet this express need, TFPIndia has launched TFPI Sports. Focused on at-risk youth from 11 under-served communities across Bangalore, this initiative uses football as a tool to transform young lives and build a sense of community. It includes activities such as sports camps, music, life-skill training and academics as an alternative to a life of gang involvement, drugs, crime, illiteracy and poverty. Engaging in rigorous and effective sports training not only provides a much-needed distraction from difficult home situations, it actively builds focus and resilience in restless young minds.
Over the last 7 years, TFPI Sports has been able to build an excellent relationship with the boys’ families who have witnessed first hand a dramatic transformation in the lives of their sons, grandsons and brothers which has in turn impacted their families and their communities.