All it takes is the right type of intervention at the right time, to revive hope and faith in people, says Karthik  Dantu , Founder  of The Awakening Foundation and KARMIC Education services.

One of the most memorable achievements by Karthik Dantu and his team is the success story of Tariq and Simar, two amazing football players from the slums of Hyderabad who never thought in their wildest dreams that their talent and skill would actually become their means of livelihood!

The Idea

In 2013, my team came across this organization called ‘Slum Soccer’, which uses football as a medium to teach and inculcate basic life skills among kids. They were also the South Asian partners of Football for Hope’, the CSR wing of FIFA. Every year Football for Hope conducts a ‘Homeless World Cup’, in which over 80 nations participate. Slum Soccer’s responsibility was to select the Indian team for this amazing event.

The Challenges

One of the most difficult tasks in the entire process was to convince people who had lost hope that there is hope, and to persuade them to have faith in someone who had just entered their lives, promising them a life beyond their wildest imagination.

The Solution

From November 2013 to November 2014, we at The Awakening conducted training programs in and around Hyderabad, where we found these two amazing footballers, Tariq and Simar.  Later both of them were sent to Nagpur to train with high-level professionals, and in October last year, they were in Chile, proudly representing their country.

Currently, both these ‘International players’ are assistant coaches in different schools and academies and also are running their own programs under The Awakening Foundation to identify, foster and nurture players like them. They now earn more than INR 25 K a month, and their entire lifestyle and the way they look at the world has changed.


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