Siddhesh Pappu is a quiet, unassuming 14-year-old boy with a giant smile that lights up his face every now and then. He lives in a slum community in Parel with his father Pappu Umap, a garbage collector, mother Nanda, a maid, and sister Harshita who studies in fourth grade. Siddhesh once had an older brother, but he passed away in a train accident several years ago.
Back in late 2016, Siddhesh would spend his mornings at school and evenings at a public ground in Parel watching Vision Rescue’s football team play practice matches. A few of his friends were even part of the sports program and one day, Siddhesh mustered the courage to join as well. Within a year, he blossomed into a gifted and confident football player, even though he had very little encouragement from his family. His father struggles with alcoholism and often prevents him from playing football.
One day, during routine practices on the field, the Head Coach of FC Mumbaikar, spotted Siddhesh play and called him for trials with the club. Siddhesh cleared the trials, passed the medical tests and was deemed fit to play with the 30-member squad. He was even chosen to attend a five-day soccer camp with the club, entirely free of cost. Siddhesh will continue with the club for all of 2018, and he couldn’t be more overjoyed at the amazing turns his life has taken in the last year! Because of your support, children from slum communities like Siddhesh have a fighting chance in the competitive world of sports!