KARACHI: The street children football team, winners of bronze medal at Street Child Football World Cup received heroic welcome by the Sindh legislatures on reaching the Sindh Assembly (SA) on Tuesday. Just after their arrival in the Assembly hall all SA members gave them standing ovation.
Pakistan secured third place after defeating United States in Street Child Football World Cup held at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The Street Child World Cup is held ahead of the FIFA World Cup and aims to bring together disadvantaged children from across five continents.Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Local Government Sharjeel Innam Memon on behalf of chief minister Sindh announced Rs 200,000 each for team members that took part in Street Child Football World Cup. Sharjeel Memon announced a football stadium would also be constructed under the name of street children in Karachi.
Sindh Minister for Social Welfare Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani said it was worth seeing that street children team was sitting inside the House and witnessing the Assembly proceedings. Our team put up an excellent show at the Street Child World Cup brining bronze medal. They also managed to defeat USA along with other teams, said the minister.
She applauded their contribution and hardship in the preparations of World Cup and said the team brought a good name not only for Sindh but also for Pakistan.
The role of civil society was important in efforts regarding team’s preparations for their participation in the World Cup. Role of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and British Council should also be commendable, she added.
Minister said first time in history of Pakistan, street children took part in such a mega event which itself was a historic moment. The team not only showed extraordinary performance but also promoted Sindh and Pakistan’s culture, she said.
Sindh Minister for Education Nisar Khuhro said presence of street children has enhanced the glory of PA session. These kids have made our dreams come true, he added. Khuhro announced free education for all team members till their post graduation.
Sindh Minister for Transport Mir Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani announced Rs 500,000 for the team.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman announced Rs 10,000 each for team members on his own behalf and later dispersed the amount.
MPA of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)congratulated the team on his own and on behalf of MQM chief Altaf Hussain. On behalf of Altaf Bhai I congratulate the whole team and invite them to visit Nine Zero.
Another MQM MPA Irum Azeem Farooque said these kids were role model for other street children. She said these kids have done such a job, which we could only dream.
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Parliamentary leaderNand Kumar demanded of the government to provide them government jobs after their education and maturity level.
Dr Seema Zia of PTI said these kids along with Azad Foundation and social welfare department Sindh should be appreciated. Special coaching should also be provided to these children. And if there is an education deficit among them it should also be removed.
PPP MPA Javed Nagori said Lyari and Muaripur deserve more applauds as they have produced such players who have brightened the name of our country.
He said there was a propaganda being carried out against the people of Lyari. “I appeal to the people and media label of ‘gang war’ upon Lyari should be carried away now. He said there was biased approach being carried out by federal government in Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). “President and Secretary General ofPFF both belong to Punjab. Such people are appointed who do not know even the ABC of the football”. He said Azad Foundation approached federal government for the street children but it responded with cold shoulder. He said people should realise now Aik Lyari, Sab Par Bhari.
Bilqees Mukhtar of MQM said if there had been any hard image for the Lyari, these kids have brought soft image for Lyari. Appreciating the social welfare department Sindh she said the department showed the courage. When there is a will, there is a way, she commented. Real thing is to find out a talent, trimming the talent and to promote it, she added.
Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi of PML F demanded there should be a formal reception to be given in the honour of street children where these announced money should be distributed.
She appreciated the announcement made by education minister for free education to street children. She said housing facility should also be provided to these kids.
MPA Shaheena Sheikh Ali, Lal Chand, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Dr Sattar Rajpar and others also lauded the street children for their historical performance in World Cup.
Talking to Daily Times Captain Sameer Ahmed said it was a sense of joy to see such a reception. There were teams from nineteen countries. We had chance to meet big names at Brazil. I never imagined even in my dreams that we would perform like that in World Cup and would get such a warm welcome here at SA.
We would work more hard and try to bring other street children to the sports, he added. He appreciated the arrangements made during the tournament.
Salman Hussain a forward in the team said before this tour and victory, we had been facing harsh attitude of people around us who kept admonished us. But after the Brazil tour and our victory things have changed.
Mohammad Shoaib another team member said it was nice to celebrate the victory. We need continuous appreciation so that we could do better in future, he said
Team coach Abdul Rashid told media that it was honour to coach such a side, which won bronze in World Cup. All these kids need the support from institutions and you would see the result, coach added.
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