Football in Pallavi Raga!
The five years with Dream a Dream have seen Pallavi Shyam Sundar progress from a participant in 2014 for a FIFA football festival in Brazil to being named as one of the Young Ambassadors for Qatar’s Generation Amazing programme that aims to promote development through football in the underprivileged communities across the world.
Pallavi Shyam Sundar is all of 22. She is an educator, a football facilitator and a changemaker whose persistent efforts have resulted in the conversion of a dumpyard into a playground in just two months.
In that very ground, she now teaches football and imparts invaluable life skills to 150 schoolchildren of The Round Table School in Roopena Agrahara, Bengaluru, week in and week out. “Akka, akka..,” the cheerful jerseyclad boys and girls vie for her attention and share their views and personal stories, all revolving around the day’s topic. From gender equality to teamwork to traffic rules, the topics vary with every session.
“It took me time to get them to open up, now even the kids who don’t discuss during the group session come to me and personally share their thoughts,” she says. It is evident they adore and look up to her. She is confident, affirmative and has no trouble getting the excited younglings latch on to every syllable she utters.
To think she was once a shy introvert whose only solution to problems — sometimes as simple as a scolding from parents or teachers — was suicide. The fading slit marks on her left wrist remind her every day of how far she has come.
“In class ■, Dream A Dream, an NGO, came to my school to implement a few programmes. They had rugby, not football then, so I decided to enrol in the computer and career connect programmes,” she recollects.
Threeinone: Pallavi Shyam Sundar an educator, a football facilitator and a changemaker in Bengaluru.