Magic Bus Kids to participate in Street cricket world cup

Amit Pant

Children living in slums who used to play cricket in the street are going to play at global platform Street Cricket world cup 2019 from April 20 to May 7 at Lord’s London.

The Street Child Cricket World Cup is uniting street children from around the world to play in their own international cricket tournament to raise awareness and tackle the widespread stigma and negative treatment they face.

On the pitch, 10 national teams, both girls and boys, are going to represent their countries. Off the pitch, the young people will make their voices heard and make recommendations to help improve the lives of street children worldwide. Teams from Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, India North, India South, Mauritius, Nepal and Tanzania are going to participate.

India South will be represented by a coalition of two organizations namely and Magic Bus India Foundation and Karunalaya Social Service Society (KSSS). India North will be represented by a coalition of two organizations namely The Hope Foundation and Save the Children India.

Four children from Magic Bus India Foundation are 14 years Shama Siddiquii, 15 years Bhavani Veerakannu Mayavan, 14 years Mohr Irfan Labbe and  17 years Mani Ratinam from slum community in Mankhurd, Mumbai. Four children from Karunalaya Centre for Street and Working Children, Chennai are Miss B Monish, Miss. A Nagalakshmi, Master.V Paulraj and Master K Surya Prakash.

Speaking on the same Bhavani Veerakannu Mayavan, from India South team (Magic Bus) said, “We want to play really well and so we are practising often, near our homes.  I have gotten the hang of bowling but I need to learn to field a little better and need to improve my batting skills. My teammates help me a lot.

I am very excited because I get to see a new place. I have never been out of India. When I go to London I will have the chance to speak to the people there and learn about their culture and they will also get to learn about me and India. I will have the chance to improve my communications skills. I am also extremely excited to represent India and I will make sure we win. That is why we are practising a lot.

In our community, girls are not allowed out of their homes a lot. I will fight for girls to have equal freedom. Girls are also harassed. Parents should be supportive of their daughters as much as they are of their sons and they should know that girls and boys are equal. Everyone is equal. Small children in the community also see elders engaging in bad habits like using drugs or drinking. I will talk about these issues.

Parvati Pujari, Manager – International Partnerships, Magic Bus said, “We have brought together 2 girls and 2 boys from the same community, so it makes it easier for them to work in a team. From the first day, we have introduced them to each other as teammates. We continuously teach them team building activities and tell them how teamwork is important, especially when they have a responsibility to represent India. The children practice on their own. Since the two boys are good cricket players compared to the girls they have been helping Shama and Bhavani become better at the sport.  Their parents have also been very supportive in allowing their daughters to play with boys and to attend practice. But this has taken some time to convince parents how this opportunity will help their children, be role models in their community.”