IndiaCSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Stairs, India’s largest NGO working towards empowerment of underprivileged youth through sports, education and health, today launched its flagship program ‘Hockey for Growth’. In this endeavour it has gathered support from Dr. Dilip Tirkey, Rajya Sabha MP and former captain of the Indian Hockey team. Dr. Dilip Tirkey has joined the Board of Advisors of Stairs, and will be guiding and supporting Stairs in its various sports development related programs and projects.
Hockey for Growth’ aims to promote the sport among the underprivileged youth across the length and breadth of the country. Stairs has started the initiative from Odisha with the distribution of 400 Hockey sticks to players from rural areas of Odisha. Stairs has joined hands with “Hockey Gangpur”, the organisation established by Dr. Tirkey to promote hockey in the tribal and rural belts of Odisha, will be the parter in this cause.
Present on the occasion was Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Mr. Surjya Narayan Patro; Member of Parliament, Dr. Dilip Tirkey and many other eminent personalities.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Surjya Narayan Patro said: “Odisha has produced some of the world’s best hockey players like Dr. Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey to name a few. With Stairs’s Hockey for Growth programme collaborating with Dr. Tirkey, I am positive that hockey will soon witness resurgence. We are all hopeful that together Stairs and Hockey Gangpur can help develop and promote more talent in the state.”
Dr. Dilip Tirkey, MP, Rajya Sabha said, “There is immense craze for Hockey in Odisha. There are many places in the interiors of the state where youngsters make their own hockey sticks by bending bamboo shoot, binding it on one end for the curve and heating it over fire. However, many of these children never really get to explore or nurture their talent for lack of funds, training and infrastructure. I am sure Stairs Hockey for Growth program will provide these young hockey enthusiasts proper opportunities and exposure.”
Siddhartha Upadhyay, Founder and General Secretary, Stairs said, “India has given the world of field hockey iconic players like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, Dhanraj Pillai, Dr. Dilip Tirkey and more. ‘Hockey for Growth’ is our humble contribution to take the game to the interiors of the country and revive it. It is an initiative to connect Bharat with India as we believe that Sports is a tool that connects the youth and connect them with the rest of the country.
Since Odisha has been a breeding ground of world-class hockey players, we found it apt to flag off the mission from here. Gangpur and its surrounding areas have produced numerous Olympians and international hockey players and now with Stairs joining hands with Dr. Dilip Tirkey, the reach is expected to extend even deeper in the rural areas.”
As a part of ‘Hockey for Growth’ program, Stairs will distribute 100,000 Hockey sticks among underprivileged youth across the country. The program also envisages organization of grass-root level tournaments, selection of players for scholarship programs, facilitation of the selected players in the State and National Hockey teams. To accomplish this, individuals, corporate and other institutions are expected to come forward and extend their support towards the cause in the beat of their capacities.
Stairs provides a platform to underprivileged youth where they are encouraged to showcase their talent in the field of sports. Stairs endeavors to increase sustainable livelihood options through a participatory approach by assisting marginalized people benefit from its development initiatives.