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Jayakumar Kallodi (top left) photographed with another volunteer and kids they coached.
One of Transocean’s Logistics Managers in our Mumbai office is doing more than relaxing on the weekends. He’s actually coaching, teaching and helping make an immeasurable impact on underprivileged kid’s lives.
Jayakumar Kallodi, Division Manager, Logistics, IME, observed children of construction laborers at a field across from where their parents were working. They would play football (American soccer) barefoot and without the proper clothing, but Jayakumar could tell that while they were underprivileged, they showed real potential in the sport. That’s when he decided to volunteer his time on the weekends to coach and educate these kids.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Jayakumar and some friends started coaching around 20 kids and provided them with jerseys, shorts, boots, shin guards, socks and even food to snack on while they played. In addition to football, they would also teach the kids basic etiquette and how to interact with peers and elders.
Alif Sheikh, the one who went to the sixth round at Airtel Rising Star tryouts.Airtel Rising Star, a program dedicated to recruiting and grooming kids for their football skills, came to mind when Jayakumar was coaching these kids. He took two of his best kids to compete at tryouts, and out of the 1,000-plus youth that attended, one of his kids, Alif Sheikh, made it to the sixth round, which consisted of only 120. Alif was let go in that round, but both he and Jayakumar felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment to have made it that far.
The local support grew from people who played and enjoyed football and they, too, began to dedicate their time to coaching. One coach who is actively involved in the local Rotary Club took the initiative to provide basic education to the kids. Because of the volunteer effort led by Jayakumar, the kids are now being taught basic English, Hindi and Marathi languages. A mobile classroom arrives on location weekly to the kids and provides two hours of instruction for up to 40 kids. These kids are also given study material and books to read.
Inside the mobile classroomBecause of his selfless act to help out a few kids who played barefoot in a field across from where their parents worked on construction, up to 40 kids are now provided with an education they otherwise would have not received, plus coaching that unlocked their football potential.
Jayakumar is proof that a kind act can go a long way.