Gifts galore for kids who abstained from toffees to buy football

The meeting was held in the village ground and Athin and Arjun are seen seated on plastic chairs on stage.

Published: 09th November 2019 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2019 06:15 AM   |  A+A-

The kids watching the Kerala Blasters’ match against Odisha FC in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, on Friday. They were the special guests of the match | A Sanesh

Express News Service

MALAPPURAM: The 13 kids from Nilambur who held a formal meeting to discuss ways to purchase a football and jerseys have won many hearts. Moved by their act, many kindhearted persons have come forward sponsoring footballs and jerseys for the kids.

Social worker Sushanth Nilambur posted the video of the kids holding a meeting on social media on Wednesday and it went viral. So far, it has been viewed by 2.5 million people and 54,000 viewers have shared it on Facebook. In the video, the kids are seen huddled in a meeting under the auspices of president Athin and secretary Arjun to buy a football costing Rs 400 and adequate number of jerseys by saving Rs 2 everyday.     

The meeting was held in the village ground and Athin and Arjun are seen seated on plastic chairs on stage. They made a makeshift microphone using the stem of a coconut leaf and a stick. In the speech, Arjun urged the kids to contribute `10 every week to purchase the football and jerseys. “From now on, stop eating chocolates. Anyway, the habit causes tooth decay. Better save that money and contribute it to the cause,” he said.

The meeting was held in a democratic way. After announcing the decision, the president asked the other members if they had any objection and gave everyone a chance to convey their opinion. All of them, including the lone girl in the team, Ananya, agreed with the decision.

“The football which we bought from the funds collected previously was damaged and that is why we need a new one. I will contribute `10 every week and we should purchase a football immediately,” she said. After the video went viral, the kids did not have to wait for months to realise their goal. First, a team from Wake Up Football Academy with their Spanish coach Prieto De Prada Celestino came there to donate two footballs.

“The effort of the kids to purchase a football really touched us. So we decided to donate footballs to encourage them. We are also ready to give them coaching,” said Nasar Kappur, managing director of the academy. Actor Unni Mukundan also made the children happy by donating jerseys. Kerala Blasters management, inspired by the kids, invited them to their camp in Kochi and offered to give them what they deserved.

Kids with coach Prieto De Prada Celestino and members of WAKE UP Football Academy | Express

“An  official from Kerala Blasters management contacted them after seeing the video and offered passes for the match,” said Sushanth Nilambur, who posted the video on Facebook. Though the children were really happy by the offers they received after the video went viral, this one made them really excited, said Sushanth.

“This is the first time they are watching a football match live. They had the chance to watch the match from Kerala Blasters’ box, which doubled the excitement,” he added.

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