MARGAO: As the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ played on the lush green at the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 to earn the four tickets for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, many a Team carried a ‘special’ item in their baggage when they flew back home from picturesque Goa.

Ashadeep,’ a School of Special Children were able to strike a chord with quite a few Teams off their field, all of whom picked up gift items made by the special kids for their families.

And it was not just the Teams. Even the FIFA President Gianni Infantino carried the “treasure,” back with him.

“With the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 around the corner, we felt that contributing in a small manner. Hence, we thought of making some merchandise for the Teams,” Savio Messias, Chairman of Trust which runs the School. “The kids love Football and were so much excited when they were told to make items for Football Teams. They found solace in Football.”

“We were extremely delighted when the FIFA President appreciated the gift item. I will treasure this gift, the President told me when I presented it to him,” Messias further informed. “The moment meant a lot to us – a very special moment indeed.”

The items were also a hit with the teams participating in the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016.

“I wholeheartedly want to thank the Teams for thinking about carrying the flavour of India back to their Countries. The kids were so much overwhelmed when the Teams liked their items and purchased them. The gleam in their eyes said it all,” he informed. “We understand the bags which were carried back by the Teams will stay with them for long.”

Amarjit, a Teacher who accompanied the kids felt it was a “special moment for the special kids.”

“They may be U-16 Players but they play for their National Teams. They are the Stars of Tomorrow. The children of our School were so delighted to have interacted with them. Life is all about such special moments for the special kids,” he stated.

The care and the share of the society mean so much for special children, and it is such special moments that turn an Event into all the more special.

“But once the kids finish their schooling, we find it difficult to find any kind of placement for them,” lamented Savio, a former Secretary of the Goa Football Association.

“So we set up a vocational wing where we train the kids to make various kinds of gift items,” he states.

“The gift items range from candles to bangles to diyas to paintings and what not,” he informs. “India is a Country of Festivals and with Diwali around the corner, the diyas will be in demand soon. In fact, they already are.”

The money generated from the sales is shared with the children for them to either share it with their parents or use it as per their needs.

 – Nilanjan Datta,
AIFF Media

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