Corporates are integrating those outside the mainstream
Sports for differently-abled
IndusInd Bank’s csr initiatives around sport development aim to foster professional athletes who do not have access to sporting infrastructure and professional training.
In April 2016 IndusInd For Sports was formed as a vertical within the bank, dedicated to the development of sporting capability in India and to integrate sport into the dna and the minds of its employees.
For the IndusInd Para Champions Programme, the bank has tied up with the GoSports Foundation, and for the Blind Cricket Prgramme with cabi (Cricket Association for the Blind in India) to promote the Indian Blind Cricket Team consisting of 26 players.
The Blind Cricket team gets logistical support as they travel across the country to share their success stories and encourage other visually-impaired youngsters to take up the sport.
The Para athletes supported by IndusInd Bank have won three medals at the Rio Paralympics. The Indian Blind Cricket Team won the recent T20 World Cup 2017 hosted by India in February earlier this year.
The bank has committed to the existing programmes till 2019 and plans to build on this in an engaged manner. It also aims to advocate providing sporting facilities for the differently-abled in schools and college.
Sport provides a powerful platform for differently-abled individuals to showcase their abilities. It raises awareness of the prevalent disability conditions in society, as also offers possible livelihood opportunities and empowers lives. The ultimate aim is to improve the sports narrative in India.
Sony has partnered with GoSports Foundation, extending support to para-athletes across India to cover their training, travel and competition needs. The support is a catalyst in their performance and in their effort to fight the social stigma associated with their disability. Apart from monetary support, the company also uses the power of its media channels to create awareness about Paralympic sports and enable empowerment through sport for the differently-abled in India.
Three supported athletes won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Rio Paralympics 2016 for India. There was an increase in visibility for the Paralympic games as well the athletes.
In 2016, in partnership with Slum Soccer, the National Inclusion Cup was held in Mumbai for the first time and had teams from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Vidharbha, Orissa, Gujarat, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh participating in the 5 day tournament.
The National Inclusion Cup provides a platform to showcase sporting excellence among the underprivileged youth (both boys and girls) whose talent would otherwise remain unidentified, unsupported and thus wasted. This tournament also provides value in terms of participation and inclusion.
The winners were declared after competing amongst 450 participants. Selected players represent India at a global level at the Homeless World Cup in Oslo, Norway this year, where 63 teams meet every year for the World Championship. This tournament helped bring positive transformation, engage youth from marginalised sections in constructive activities and help create brand ambassadors of social change, equality and inclusion. In addition to the National Inclusion Cup, Sony also supports the Slum Soccer team with other projects such as EduKick and Game Changers, which are focussed on education via football and societal improvement projects.
In the mid-1990s, ti Cycles, a division of Tube Investment of India and a part of south India’s Murugappa group, decided to move from just promoting and selling bicycles to promoting bicycling as a fitness activity. Thus began the foundation of a lasting relationship with various cycle clubs and associations at all of the company’s locations in the country. The result of this link-up with cycling clubs like Chain Reaction and the Tamil Nadu Cycling Club was the company’s first cyclathon, conducted in 2009.
Since then, ti Cycles has conducted thousands of cycling-related activities across the country, and established facilities, including a first-of-its kind mountain bike park within its Ambattur premises and succeeded in driving cycling as a recreational activity amongst the fitness-conscious, urban Gen-Y.
There have been other sports related initiatives at the group. Murugappa Youth Football Academy (myfa) was inaugurated in July 2015, with the objective of providing grass-root football coaching to children from economically weaker sessions. The facility is extended to boys from classes 6-8 of the Vellayan Chettiar School. It is also conceptualised as a means of imparting life skills, inculcating disciple, and diverting them from the anti-social environment prevalent in Tiruvottiyur and surrounding areas.
The students have access to professional equipment and are supplied with a personal football kit free of cost. The three coaches have all played at the national level and two are certified coaches. The Academy also provides the students with coaching in life skills and personality development, and ensures their adequate and complete nutrition through supplements
gail Indian Speedstar is a pan India initiative of the company to promote athletics as a sport across the nation, and specifically the rural parts of India. It is a national talent-search programme to identify and groom future stars for Olympics 2020 and 2024 in track initiatives.
gail partnered with the National Yuva Cooperative Society Limited (nycs) along with the Anglian Medal Hunt Company to execute the project. gail Indian Speed Star is a sports talent hunt under the csr umbrella that aims to ‘spot, screen, select and groom’ young athletes in the age group of 11-17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events across the country.
Until now screening has been done on two levels for two seasons. Initial trials were conducted at 107 locations across India. More than 113,000 athletes participated and were screened.
The initiative aims at honing the underlying talent of young athletes and provides an opportunity to children from disadvantaged communities who don’t have access to such opportunities or the platform. The initiative kick-started and conducted trials in 53 districts across 10 states in which more than 25,000 children participated, out of which 899 children finally made it to the state level camp and selection.
Nine athletes were selected on the day of the Grand Finale which was held in May 2016 at jln Stadium, New Delhi. The nine athletes will be provided training and development with the view of preparing them for the Olympics.
The rigorous training and motivation has started showing results for selected athletes of Season 1. The bigger goal is to promote sports culture amongst the youth of the country.
The design of the project is versatile and challenges emerged due to geography and demography. When the athletes had been selected for Phase I, it became imperative to adopt a well-designed training module for them. Due to the young age of the finalists and their ever shifting priorities, a number of them dropped off thus misbalancing the funding model causing hardships to the funder i.e. gail, and the implementing agency, in arriving at a suitable cost became a nightmare.
The key output for the first stage of these projects is the shortlisting of nine prospective medallists in Phase I and six prospective medallists in Phase II. gail expects that this initiative will result in some Gold medals in the upcoming international athletic events for India. The company has tied up further csr funds for the training of the shortlisted boys and girls. Some of these boys have already begun to win laurels at national and international events.