Holistic Development In Mumbai Through Sport

Published on June 14, 2014 um 16:25

Summary of your idea

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is the civic body that administers the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra, and is the richest municipal corporation in India. It runs a total of 1,185 primary schools in Mumbai catering to approx. 450,000 students. The objective of my idea is to raise the standard of education in these schools, providing equal opportunities to the economically backward sections of society. We aim to do this by empowering the youth from the grassroots level through the medium of sports. Through this, we also hope to optimally utilize available infrastructure, tap existing talent and potential, and nurture the same thereby narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. The idea is to develop a structured physical education curriculum for BMC schools and offer it as a compulsory subject to the students at the primary level. These schools cater to children from extremely impoverished, socially and economically backward backgrounds. At the tender age of 5 years, these children are already exposed to traumatic experiences at home, cruel surroundings, unhealthy practices and violent behaviours. This sort of exposure moulds them into disturbed individuals, prone to unlawful activities and aggressive dispositions. It is a scientifically established fact that Sports strengthens human relationships because people play together. It contributes to greater human performance, better quality of life and increased productivity. Sports education in BMC schools should have a humanistic approach, meet the needs of participants, understand the role of physical activity in human performance and enhance the quality of life. Sport has been credited with teaching values of sportsmanship and fair play to participants, developing a sense of community and cohesion, helping to reduce dropout rates and giving the underprivileged access to higher education. All of these characteristics are imperative to the holistic development of children coming from economically backward environments.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

For the fiscal 2014-15, the budget allocated to the education department of the BMC is Rs 2660.44 crore (approx. 26600 million). This means that the cost per child per year is an upward of Rs 50,000. Inspite of the big budgets and qualified teachers, BMC schools have failed to provide quality education to its students. From 2008-2012, the average of students passing from BMC schools has been a mere 58%! The dropout rates in these schools have also been alarming. From 6% in 2008 -09, the dropout rate has risen to 9% in 2012- 13. Surely these statistics tell us a bigger story. If we have 1,185 primary schools adopting our program, that is a positive impact being made on approx. 450,000 children. These children in turn will coax, and inspire, their families and friends to look towards sports for a healthier and brighter future. Apart from the obvious benefits of healthy habits being developed in children at an early stage in their lives, better concentration in schools, and more active lifestyles for the students, we could also possibly be looking at more participation at international levels in sports. This in turn could lead to more representation at the Olympic Games which would result in higher expectations of podium finishes for the country. By adopting this system, we are also offering employment opportunities for a vast number of the people (approx. 400 athletes could avail of these benefits of employment). By making jobs available to sportspersons, not only do they have a source of livelihood for themselves and their families, but more and more people will begin to perceive a fruitful career in sports as well.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

A sound physical education structure is the need of the hour in the BMC schools if we want to reduce the dropout rate and make the students want to come to school every day. Generally, most schools have large playgrounds that are often underutilized. Out of the total budget allocated to the education department, a sizeable chunk goes towards wages, approx 80%. Every private school that charges an annual fee of Rs 15000- Rs 36000 per student per year has at least 2 full time physical education teachers. In order to improve the school life for the students, the BMC must compulsorily hire at least 1 physical education teacher. In order to optimize costs and efficiency, the physical education teacher should be hired on a part time basis per school so as to optimize the ratio of schools to teachers. An ideal ratio would be 3:1, wherein 1 teacher is assigned to a maximum of 3 schools. The teacher will be paid a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 in the first year. The teacher will be expected to work for a total of 18 hours per week, which means that she has enough time to pursue her sport competitively as well. At Rs 15,000 per month, this works out to Rs 180,000 per year per teacher. Of this amount, 1% will be going towards development of curriculum and assessments. In this way, everyone present in the system is contributing towards the development of physical education thereby making it a self sustaining project. This is an initiative that would cost the BMC an expenditure of Rs 71 million. This amount is a mere 1.2% of the BMCs unutilized funds in the year 2013 14 (5779 million). It therefore makes utmost sense for the corporation to invest in physical education.

Your profile

I am a 24 year old Indian entrepreneur who eats, breathes and lives sports. Having founded my own sports management firm, Sprinter Sports, it is my dream to make a positive change in the world through the medium of sports. Sport has had a major role to play in shaping my life and personality. From a shy kid who would get highly uncomfortable around people, to today running her own firm which depends on communication for its survival, I believe I have come a long way in life only because of my sport. I have been a competitive athlete for 12 years, having represented my state (Maharashtra) and University (Mumbai University) at the National level for 7 consecutive years. I believe that sport has the power to transform our personalities and that if channeled in the right direction, change the world! My passion to bring about a positive contribution to society compelled me to become a leader at The Candle Project, a youth initiative in Mumbai providing education to underprivileged children. During my time here, I have come face to face with a number of realities. These have instilled in me the conviction that if I want to see the change, then I must be the instrument of that change. I have been fortunate to be born and brought up in a middle class family that has always strived to provide me with the best in life. As grateful as I am for the wonderful life that I have been blessed with, I will only see the real value of these things when they can be shared with those less fortunate. And there is nothing more I would want than to see every child from the age of 4 years have the opportunity to bring sport into her life.

Stage of Idea

conceptual stage, planning stage, start-up stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

peace-building , education, health, poverty reduction, cultural diversity , empowerment of women, youth

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July 30, 2014 11:37

Good 1..

July 30, 2014 11:37

Good 1..