Celebrating the third year of its Desh Ko Arpan Programme (DKAP), makers of Tata Salt, Tata Chemicals, think it is time to look out for future champions, a la Sachin Tendulkar and Bhaichung Bhutia, from the downtrodden section. For the time being, these future champions will be selected from municipal schools in Mumbai. The target is to select 2,100 children from 400 schools. A total of 1,050 students will be provided the final coaching — 450 students for football and 600 for cricket. Out of this, 30 each from both the disciplines will be inducted into premier sports clubs.
Trials for sports and coaching for children in the age group of 10-15 years have already begun. Certified sports coaches, who have passed the Mumbai Cricket Association Level 1 coaching examination, will coach the children. The programme is being held with the support of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which will provide access to playgrounds for both cricket and football. Says Tata Chemicals managing director Prasad Menon, “There are a lot of youngsters out there waiting for a platform to showcase their talent and we hope that this programme will help make their dreams a reality.”
The company ‘‘looks forward to generating more resources’’ for the cause. “This initiative is one of the ways in which our flagship brand, Tata Salt, finds a connect with improving the quality of life of the underprivileged children through DKAP,” adds Satish Sohoni, COO, Food Additives Business, TCL. “The objective of expanding the scope of DKAP is to give underprivileged children an opportunity to develop sports ability and pursue higher education.”
Besides sports, DKAP will provide educational support to children from municipal schools who will enter Class X. Around 980 Class IX students from 49 schools in Mumbai will be shortlisted on the basis of merit ranking and will be coached in Math, Science and English subjects for their Class X board examinations.
The DKAP was launched by the company to champion social causes. Under this programme, 10 paise out of the company profits for every pack of a kg of Tata Salt sold between January 26 and February 25 goes towards the upliftment of underprivileged children. In the last three years, the programme has contributed over Rs 1 crore, which has helped educate over 30,000 children across the country.