Dubai: The UAE based Max Talent Cricket Academy have set up a camp in the heart of central Indian state of Maharashtra to provide exposure to tribal talents (adivasis) in India.
Speaking to Gulf News, Sudhakar Shetty, the head coach of this academy and brain behind this project, said: “This is an attempt by our academy to bridge the gap between the privileged and denied [unprivileged] class of the society.”
Max Talent have been promoting cricket in UAE for over a decade through not only their academy in different parts of UAE but also by staging inter-school and inter-collegiate tournaments.
“We have set up a Maxtalent Pavilion at Dugad Village near Bhivandi in Thane. Currently we have adopted 30 adivasi children to develop them and bring them in the mainstream through Education and Sports and empower them to lead a life with dignity and respect,” added Shetty, who conceived this project in 2013 and formally launched in 2015 and registered it in Mumbai as Maxtalent Sports & Education Institute Trust.
The project enjoys the backing of some of India’s well known cricketers, with promising batsman Shreyas Iyer being the brand ambassador of the project. They have got backing from Sharmajeev Sanghatan, a social work organisation and has cricketers Lalchand Rajput, Pravin Amre, Sharad Hazare, Balaram Bhoir (Gen Sec of Sharmajeev Sanghatan), social workers Sunil Ullal, Viveck Shetty, Amitabh Ghosh, Sharat Haridasan and educationist Shoma Bhattacharya as patrons.
“We have been going to villages and peripheral areas and enrolling young children [boys and girls] from local schools and even counsel dropouts. We are also supporting upper grade students by providing private tuition to enable them to perform better in studies. As regards sports, we will provide daily training through dedicated coaches from different disciplines especially cricket as they connect with it easily and kabbadi.”
The project is also not confined to helping them in their education and sports but also focus on how to stay and pursue healthy and hygienic living. All the children will be provided medical checkup twice an year.
“To ensure them to study at home, we provide solar lamps to each home and also give them cycles to come to school and for training. We will also invite schools from Mumbai city to come to the village and mix with these children and exchange ideas of life through sports, cultural and social awareness. We have tied up with SVKM in Mumbai Vile Parle, to organise their annual sports and cultural event at Dugad,” revealed Shetty.
“We will also take these children to Mumbai to be part of the Maxtalents Global Sports UAE Annual Mumbai cricket tour and play matches against local teams. We are faced with different challenges like lack of electricity at village homes, transport to reach school and the training area. We also have to tackle social and economic conditions like poverty, wrong beliefs, poor education, superstitions, child labour and malnutrition. We are trying hard to find remedies and are seeking support to provide breakfast and lunch to them, construct study-cum-dormitory, stage skill training workshops and even motivate them for higher studies getting scholarship support,” he added.