The team of about 13 children in Kerala’s Malappuram district only wanted to buy one football and jerseys for each player. They held an endearing meeting at a small field in a village in Nilambur, on how to chip in money for the same every Sunday. The video of this meeting went viral on Thursday, and the children received massive love appreciation. And before the children could collect any money, they have been swamped with about five footballs, jerseys and even an air pump from well-wishers across the state.
Social worker Sushanth Nilambur, who posted the video of the children’s meeting that took place behind his house, told TNM that the children started receiving responses from across the world, including Australia. Some offered to give footballs, some money. “However, we decided not to accept money as we did not want to turn it into a charity,” he said.
Happiness and excitement were writ large upon the faces of the children as each group of well-wishers visited their village, met them and gifted them footballs and jerseys.
Calling their group Friends Theyyathumkunnu, the children received their first set of two yellow footballs from Malappuram-based Wake Up Football Academy. Its Head Coach from Spain gave away the footballs.
Expressing their pleasure in helping these young talents, a representative from the Academy added, “Two children from this group will be given free football training at a camp held at Seethi Haji stadium in Edavanna (Malappuram).”
Another group called Club Shameerianz gave the children two footballs and an air pump. Incidentally, one of the children, and the only girl in the group, Ananya, also called Kunjava, had said that all their footballs deflated and that’s why they need a new one.
The group also gifted the children organic pens. Once the ink is over, these eco-friendly pens can be used as a manure for plants.
Even actor Unnimukundan reached out to the children. “Since he was at a film shooting, he asked his friends to gift the young players with 15 jerseys and a football,” said Sushanth.
Foot ball വാങ്ങിക്കാൻ യോഗം കൂടിയ കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങൾക്കുള്ള സഹായവുമായി സ്പെയിനിൽ നിന്നുള്ള football coch, മലയാള സിനിമ നടൻ ഉണ്ണിമുകുന്ദൻ ഉൾപ്പെടെ കുറച്ചു പേർ എത്തിPosted by Sushanth Nilambur on Thursday, November 7, 2019
The children are currently in Kochi as they have been invited by the Kerala Blasters Football Club to watch their match in the city.
The children, in their meeting on Wednesday, had decided to set aside Rs 2 every day, from Monday to Friday, and meet every Sunday to put Rs 10 in their collection. Once they managed to raise sufficient fund, they would buy the football and jerseys from Flipkart.
The video caught the attention of many, especially for the way the children set up a professional meeting-like setup with whatever resources at their disposal — a coconut stem as the mic stand, a stick as mic and a plastic cover as ponada (shawl). The children were also appreciated for the dignity with which they conducted themselves at the meeting and encouraged each other to speak.
To know the agenda of their meeting: