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Meet Vijay Barse: The real-life hero whose incredible efforts inspired the Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Jhund’ | Football News



NEW DELHI: “Ye jhund nahi hai, ye slum soccer hai (This is just not a herd, that is Slum Soccer)” stated a smiling Vijay Barse, a Nagpur-based retired sports activities instructor, as he checked the time on his wrist watch earlier than leaving to coach his college students in his small academy in Nagpur, armed with a whistle.
The man from Nagpur has been on a mission since 2001 to rehabilitate slum dwellers through the stunning sport of soccer. He is the founding father of ‘Jhopadpatti soccer’ or as it’s extra popularly known as ‘Slum Soccer’.
Barse’s wrestle, his imaginative and prescient and his journey has been was an enormous price range film with one in every of the all time biggest actors the nation has produced, Amitabh Bachchan taking part in the 77 yr previous. The film has been directed by Nagraj Manjule.


It was the yr 2001 when Barse, a bodily training instructor in Hislop College in Nagpur, left residence someday and was on his technique to work. He had coated half the distance when it started to rain. Barse took shelter beneath a tree. After a while, he heard voices. He rotated and noticed kids from a slum close by kicking a damaged plastic bucket, utilizing it like a soccer at a small floor close to the Vidarbha Hockey Association in Nagpur. Something made Barse sit there for a very long time and observe the youngsters.
And then he had a sudden thought.
“What if I give a football to these kids? That was the first thought that came to my mind after watching them play,” Barse advised TimesofIndia.com in a particular interplay in Nagpur.
What actually impressed Barse was the undeniable fact that whereas these youngsters performed, with no gear and no ball, not a single profanity handed their lips. And whereas they performed there was no scope of any anti-social exercise, which was normally related to many slum youngsters in the space.
The subsequent day, Barse bought up early and went to a different slum space of Nagpur the place he noticed some kids taking part in with a rubber ball. He spoke with them and requested them if they’d be keen to play with one other crew. He advised them the time and venue and requested them to indicate up.
“The mission had taken its first step. They were all there well before time. They were all excited. They were all also well dressed. I had a ball with me and formed two teams, gave the kids some encouragement and confidence and asked them to play. Believe me, I could see the passion in them. The journey had started,” Barse additional advised TimesofIndia.com.


Barse was extraordinarily delighted to see the craze for soccer amongst the slum dwellers. He knew the stunning sport may certainly develop into a catalyst of change for these kids.
With the assist of the native media, Barse disseminated the phrase in Nagpur’s slum areas a couple of event being organised and that the winners would get trophies, free meals and presents. He requested a few of his college students at the faculty the place he taught to handle the entries, the trophies and meals for these youngsters.
Barse, who’s now 77, was anticipating a good turnout however what he did not anticipate was the enrollment of greater than 128 groups.
“128 teams participated – the moment I heard this from one of my students, I was really amazed and surprised. I had to ask them to stop the entries. I had to stop the entries when the counting reached 128 teams. It was a herculean task for me to handle 128 teams. But I was so happy to see the craze for the game of football among these children,” Barse recalled.
There had been no jerseys, the youngsters had been allowed to play barefoot in the event that they wished to, put on shorts or pants, t-shirt, shirts or vests – Barse had set no guidelines for the event.
Barse divided the 128 groups into 4 zones – East, West, North, and South. Each Zone had 32 groups. He, the truth is, did not schedule the league matches and determined to go straight for knockouts.
“I made simple rules for them. I didn’t put much pressure of rules and regulations on these kids. All I wanted was them to express themselves. I wanted to introduce this beautiful sport to them. I wanted them to swap all the hatred they had for love and kindness and football was the only way to go forward with that,” he additional advised TimesofIndia.com as a part of a particular shoot with him and his groups in Nagpur.
“I asked some referees I knew personally to be present on the field. I asked them to whistle when there was a fight. That’s it,” Barse stated.
There was a buzz in Nagpur and adjoining areas about slum soccer. With time, increasingly more youngsters from slums got here ahead and joined Barse. The motion was rising. The change was being felt.


The first step had been taken after which the largest problem that Barse confronted was to persuade these youngsters, a lot of whom had been skilled pick-pockets, chain snatchers and thieves and who repeatedly indulged in native alcohol and in lots of instances medication.
Barse, who additionally comes from a humble background, determined to talk with their mother and father, a lot of whom had been glad to see their kids play soccer. The mother and father dearly wished a lifeline for his or her youngsters – one thing that may assist them flip their lives.
It was a tricky process to persuade all the mother and father however Barse had some plans and went forward with them.
“I come from a poor family. I understand their mentality. I asked the media to interview these parents. They were happy to see their faces on TV screens. Mothers who were working as maids in several houses to earn a livelihood were happy to see their children do well at football and win trophies. All they really wanted was to see their kids get a fair chance at a decent life. That was why I really wanted to force these kids to play football. This was for the boys. For the girls, we had to send female volunteers to speak to their parents. They ensured they stressed on the fact that the girls would be safe,” Barse stated.
“Slums are called jhopadpattis. The people who live there never get a chance to aim for the better things in life. This is the place (a slum) that continues to challenge me. I have been doing everything I can for these children and will continue to do that. They struggle for their meals, they struggle for clothes, they struggle to study and those who are keen to do something different in life, don’t really get a chance. That’s why I wanted to accept this challenge and do everything possible for them. That’s why I started jhopadpatti football,” Barse, whose life story has additionally been chronicled on the TV present Satyamev Jayate, hosted by actor Aamir Khan, additional advised TimesofIndia.com.


Barse wished these youngsters to fly excessive and contact larger heights. After taking part in tournaments in India, he wished his crew to characterize India at the Homeless World Cup, an annual affiliation soccer event organised by the Homeless World Cup Foundation (a social welfare organisation).
This event could be very totally different from different soccer tournaments.
A participant should be a minimum of 16 years previous at the time of the event and would have needed to be homeless at some stage of his or her life.
As far as the guidelines are involved, it is a four-a-side event – 3 outfield gamers and 1 goalkeeper. 4 substitutions are allowed throughout the match. The matches are for 14 minutes, with two 7-minute halves. The crew which wins will get 3 factors, whereas the loser will get zero factors. If a match ends in a draw, the result’s determined by a sudden-death penalty shootout.
The most essential rule of the event is {that a} participant can characterize his nation solely as soon as in his or her life.
Barse knew flying overseas would require an enormous sum of cash, however the event could be nice publicity for his college students. He determined to mortgage his land and no matter cash he bought from the mortgaged quantity he used to rearrange passports, visas, meals, transport, jerseys, kits, and footwear for the slum youngsters.
“The mortgage amount wasn’t enough. So, I approached the area where these kids stayed and asked for help via crowdfunding. I had to request everyone and tell them that this was for the kids’ future. Some people came forward to help but not too many. Somehow, we managed to travel and played the tournament,” he stated.
“We went as a delegation in 2006. And we played our maiden Homeless World Cup in 2007 in Copenhagen,” a smiling Barse recalled.
India have performed 12 Homeless World Cups to this point.


Over the years Barse and his organisation has helped numerous slum youngsters flip their lives round. Slum Soccer additionally helps these youngsters with their lecturers and one in every of the objectives is to make sure the youngsters keep at school.
Many of the rehabilitated youngsters have develop into coaches in the organisation.
What started in Nagpur has unfold to different cities in India too. Kids from greater than 100 cities and 24 states at the moment are a part of Slum Soccer.
The national-level Jhopadpatti event is known as the National Inclusion Cup. The groups which do nicely at the zonal stage and state stage, get to play the National Inclusion Cup. In 2021, groups from 24 states, throughout the nation, together with Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, and Manipur, participated in the event.
Apart from the Inclusion Cup, there are two local-level tournaments organised by Slum soccer – the Communal Harmony Cup and Gender Equity Cup (for each ladies and boys).
The organisation additionally has distributed 7000 plus items of soccer gear to the gamers throughout the nation to this point.


In 2006, Barse was invited to South Africa to fulfill Nelson Mandela, who wished to fulfill the man who had devoted the whole lot he needed to uplifting under-privileged youngsters from slums through the stunning medium of sport.
Barse alongside together with his spouse Ranjana Barse and son Abhijeet Barse additionally established the Krida Vikas Sanstha Nagpur (KSVN) to advertise Slum Soccer and the initiative was applauded by Mandela.
“That was the biggest day of my life. It was the biggest recognition I have ever got in my life and I will cherish that forever. Nelson Mandela put a hand on my shoulder and said – ‘my son, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up,” Barse advised TimesofIndia.com.


Indian movie director Nagraj Manjule examine Barse’s journey and determined to fulfill him. When Manjule knocked on
Barse’s door in Nagpur and launched himself, Barse was overwhelmed and. welcomed him in.
Barse was utterly shocked {that a} reputed movie director had traveled a protracted technique to meet him. Manjule advised him about the concept that he needed to make a film on Barse’s life.
“Initially I refused, because I am on a mission and a movie on me is something I was never interested in. He said he had been in talks with Amitabh Bachchan for this role. He said he is seeking my permission and the movie would help Slum Soccer grow and become popular not only in India, but in other countries too,” Barse recalled.
“I was happy to hear this and I gave him the permission. On 2nd December 2018, shooting for the movie began. I spoke with Amitabhji (Amitabh Bachchan). Initially, I was nervous about meeting him. When I met him, I told him that I was so happy that a legendary actor like him was playing my role. He had studied a lot about me. When I went to meet him, he was sitting exactly like me,” Barse shared with TimesofIndia.com.
“I told him (Amitabh Bachchan) that you have played the role of Vijay in many films, but this is the first time a real Vijay is standing in front of you and you are playing his role. Amitabhji laughed and hugged me. He knows about me and that is enough for me,” Barse signed off.


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