About team

Akhilesh Paul is a senior coach at Slum Soccer, an organization that equips the underprivileged to fight poverty and emerge out of their disadvantages through the medium of football. Previously looked down upon by his family and neighbours for habits such as gambling, stealing and alcohol addiction, Akhilesh rebuilt his life with the power of sport and went ahead to captain India at the 2010 Homeless World Cup. Today, Akhilesh also runs a shoe shop in Nagpur and coaches children from a red-light area in the city.

He often wondered how these boys managed to get money to enjoy all this. His curiosity led him to become friends with them. He stopped going to school after 6th standard and joined this group of notorious boys. Slowly, he realized that these boys indulged in robbery and various other socially ill activities. He saw them getting easy money and enjoying it. And on the other side, he saw his father working day and night and still failing to make ends meet. Like any other teenager, Akhilesh was also attracted towards the easy money way. He started working for real estate kings and politicians in Nagpur to help them threaten people and sometimes even hurt them.

We Can & We Will Win!

Our history

2011 Events

About fifteen years ago when a PT Professor of Hislop college Prof Barse, saw two slum kids playing ‘kick’ with a broken metal bucket he had a different reaction. He invited them, and other children of the slum, to the College football ground, which is right next to the slums but which had been out of bounds for them, where he gave them a football lesson with a real football.

Out of that event was born “jhopadpatti football” which was later named “Slum Soccer.” Slum Soccer is played not just all over India, but in 44 NATIONS of the world. In Nagpur itself, the Krida Vikas Sanstha & the Shakti Girls (formed by Barse and his associates) teaches football to girls and boys at 35 centers in Nagpur today. The coaching camps are held in schools of various slums, orphanages, and even in a modern but socially conscious institute like Chitanavis Centre.

After fourteen continuous years of Slum Soccer many of the slum kids are official football coaches invited all over the world, some are holding good jobs in Railways and other institutions – one thing being common: they all come back to the slums of Nagpur to teach and inspire other kids regularly.

2011 Achievements

“Akhilesh has been leading and representing the Indian slum soccer team at the Homeless World Cup. He was also a guest of honour in the third season of Aamir Khan’s popular TV show Satyamev Jayate. He is coaching children from the slums and red light areas without charging a penny. It’s a journey that everyone has to know and be inspired by”.

Today’s football tournament was held between 12 city teams the main invitees being kids from the “Platform school”. This is another very laudable institute run by Mr. Shrikant Aglave who rescues homeless kids found begging on Railway platforms and educates them in his school.

Hyderabadi short-film maker Nandi Chinni Kumar is gearing up to bring the life of slum soccer player Akhilesh Paul to the silver screen soon. Tentatively titled Slum Soccer, the biopic, to be made simultaneously in English and Hindi, is currently in the pre-production stages. Nandi is yet to finalise the cast for the film.

Statistic

Games
Goals
Awards
Violations

2012 Achievements

“I have acquired the rights to make a film about Akhilesh Paul in Hollywood and Bollywood. It’ll be a realistic drama that showcases his turbulent story. Slum Soccer will be an underdog story laced with a lot of emotions. The final draft will be completed by April and the film will go on floors in the second half of 2018

A leading production company has evinced interest in bankrolling the project and a popular Bollywood actor is in talks to portray Akhilesh,” says the filmmaker.

Born in the slums of Nagpur, Akhilesh was addicted to drugs and was accused in 45 criminal cases. He revived his fortunes with his love for soccer and went on to represent and lead India in the Homeless World Cup in 2009.

2012 Events

“Messi is god”, Chirag from Ahmedabad had put down on his bedroom’s wall. He put an end to his dream of turning a footballer and hanged himself after failing to crack the IIT entrance examination. When asked “who’s your idol”, Baljeet from Chandigarh shouted “Ronaldo”.

Little did he know, India mein paida huye ho toh doctor ya engineer bano, footballer nahi. Baljeet went into severe depression after flunking two repeated semesters in his MBBS course. Priyank from Mumbai neither died nor lost out to depression. He loved football and hated Management. Along with his MBA classes, he started hating his parents too. Deep, wholesome, uncontaminated hatred.

Little did he know, India mein paida huye ho toh doctor ya engineer bano, footballer nahi. Baljeet went into severe depression after flunking two repeated semesters in his MBBS course. Priyank from Mumbai neither died nor lost out to depression. He loved football and hated Management. Along with his MBA classes, he started hating his parents too. Deep, wholesome, uncontaminated hatred.

Statistic

Games
Goals
Awards
Violations

2013 Events

So many Chirags die. So many Baljeets give up to depression. So many Priyanks begin to hate quietly. Who keeps a track? And meanwhile, a local “don” of Nagpur who used to work for local politicians and real estate mafias for threatening the opponents, with the faithful company of alcohol and smokes; came back to the usual stream of life again, all thanks to football.

Education: 6th pass. Father: A peon in a local hospital. Mother: House wife. Occupation: theft, robbery, gambling. Criminal record: 45 police cases. This is how Akhilesh Paul’s bio data would look like, years back. The same person, presently, teaches football to kids from slums and red light areas. Someone who has seen all the odds, and has beaten them all too. Could there be a better person to talk about football as career?

Quick money is dangerous and a young mind can’t often resist this provocation. The same thing somewhat had happened to Akhilesh who was influenced by the company of a few antisocial elements. However, by God’s grace, he came in touch with Mr. Vijay Barse, the founder of “Slum Soccer”, an organization committed to providing football lessons to underprivileged children.

2013 Achievements

Mr. Barse noticed Akhilesh along with his gang sitting and playing cards, nearby the field where he took the children for net practice. Barse, one day, invited Akhilesh and his companions to play with them, which all of them firmly rejected. But Barse was determined.

Hell bent on involving Akhilesh and his friends into the game, he kept calling out to them every day. One day, finally, they came down to the field and joined the game. In a matter of two weeks, Akhilesh was in love with football.

This completely transformed his life. His performance in Homeless World Cup 2009 (Brazil) was so mesmerizing that it drew eyes of Mr. Moyes, the then coach of Manchester United who advised him to turn into a coach and use his splendid skills for teaching football.

Statistic

Games
Goals
Awards
Violations

All statistics

35
Goals
12
Games
13
Violations
8
Awards

Our awards

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2012 UEFA Championship league
2012 UEFA Championship league
2012 UEFA Championship league
2012 UEFA Championship league
2012 UEFA Championship league
2012 UEFA Championship league

Our team

We have always worked with the aim of reaching out to the Indian homeless using football as a tool for social improvement and empowerment. Slum Soccer began based on the simple philosophy ‘Football for All’.

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