Anikesh Tandekar, 20, is a reformed youngster. Having being introduced to slum soccer at age 17 his life has taken a U-Turn in the last 3 years. He was victim to his surroundings and would have become a seasoned criminal, had slum soccer not happened to him. After he began to kick a few balls, soccer caught his fancy and he inadvertently started advising others on how to better their game. Seeing his potential as a coach he was provided further impetus and training, both as a player and a coach.
Coaching young kids from the slums is now this young man’s mission. Apart from imparting them the football skills, he makes it a point to advocate the right values to these kids.Learning life lessons along with football helps these young kids stay in a positive mind set and away from drugs and violence, the perils that often come with staying in slums.
Anikesh says his biggest achievement till date, is the fact that his students and their families call him ‘Sir’. This respect is what motivates him to keep going.
Anikesh’s most talented student is a young lad Adesh. As it often happens in slums, Adesh was attracted to whiling away his time, eating tobacco, till slum soccer happened. This young boy is a picture of energy and concentration. What one can’t miss though, is the sheer joy on the lad’s face while playing. For a shy boy like him, he admits that Slum Soccer makes him happy and confident and has changed his life for the better.