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Saturday, August 6, 2016

‘Man ki baat’ inspires Meerut man with disability to popularize football across India.



Whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Man Ki Baat' (MKB) leaves a good impression on nation's mind is yet to be measured but for Gautam Pal, a physically challenged person, it has left an indelible impression. It means a lot for him since his name was aired on All India Radio last year after PM acknowledged him for raising issues related to differently-abled people. Now, being inspired by PM's words to create healthy atmosphere for football in the country as India will host under-17 football world cup in 2017, Pal is taking all steps to promote the game by going beyond his limits. Gautam Pal, born in Gesupur village of Meerut, who had lost strength in his left leg being attacked by polio when he was six months old, never let his disability to come between him and his goals. Now after earning his M Phil in library science, he runs an institute where several courses are run keeping in view the requirements of the physically-challenged children. Pal said that since his childhood he had to face discrimination at every step from playground to college. While listening to PM's Man Ki Baat I started to think what can I do for the game and an idea stuck to my mind that I should distribute footballs among the village kids to make the game popular even in rural areas"I always had a dream to do something to change the existing stigma that physically challenged people are a liability for the society. After taking charge of office PM Modi sought suggestions on a forum on 'mygov.in' where I expressed my concern over specially-abled children and suggested that they should be included under the special schemes run by civic bodies." Pal could have distributed only 100 odd footballs when a city based sports goods manufacture extended support to him."One of the leading names in sports goods industry in the city approached me and said that he would provide footballs as much as I want, that too, free of cost but he had a condition that I will have to distribute them under their banner. I refused to comply with their condition." he added. However, Pal hesitates to figure out how many footballs he has distributed but as per a rough estimate the figure has crossed 10,000 so far. On being asked about the role of society in his initiative Pal said, "When I started to distribute footballs, I had a target of 1,000 but before the figure could even cross 800, people started to support me. Though I still distribute footballs from my own pocket but I could never distribute footballs in such a big number if society hadn't extended its support to me."Inspired by his initiative, he was invited as a guest for a charity football-match played at Nehru stadium between teams of cine-stars and parliamentarians with a cause of raising fund for Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao drive.Film star Abhishek Bachchan applauded him for his efforts to popularize the game of football. Besides, Angelo Toriello, the ambassador to the permanent mission of Sao Tome and principle to United Nations, has also expressed his desire to meet Pal and asked him to elaborate his work.

Source and Credit :- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/Man-ki-baat-inspires-Meerut-man-with-disability-to-popularize-football-across-India/articleshow/53547835.cms                                                          Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam PB News Desk prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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