Malappuram: Football has a unique potential to change the world for good, they say. Proving the adage true, two clubs in Kerala have showcased the power of the beautiful game to inspire and change lives.
In a heart-warming gesture, I-League side Gokulam Kerala FC and Ajmal Bismi SAT, a professional football club based in Tirur, joined hands to help three brothers from Nilambur, who lost their house in the floods that wreaked havoc across Kerala last year.
When the Malappuram District Football Fraternity approached the teams to be part of a fund-raising event to collect money for constructing a house for the family, they extended their wholehearted support.
Last October, the teams played a charity match, organised by the Malappuram District Football Fraternity, at the Kottappady stadium in Malappuram, in front of a packed house. A sum of Rs 9 lakh was raised from the event, while ActOn Charitable Trust, a conglomeration of philanthropists and social workers, donated an amount of Rs 1.77 lakh to build an 850 sq ft-house.
The newly-constructed house, aptly named 'Snehaveedu' (Home of Love), will be handed over to the family on Monday at a function to be attended by Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan and District Police Chief U Abdul Kareem IPS. Special Branch DySP Mohanchandran, Malappuram District Football Association secretary Sudheer, Gokulam Group of Companies chairman Gokulam Gopalan and AB Bismi SAT sponsor Ajmal Bismi will also be present.
“I’m extremely happy for having done our bit for this noble cause. It was an opportunity for us to connect to the community and help the needy. A huge number of football enthusiasts had turned up to watch the match and it once again highlighted Malappuram’s undying love and passion for football. A big thanks to them,” said Gokulam Gopalan.
“It was great to see different individuals and organisations in Malappuram coming together to undertake the responsibility and complete the construction of the house without any delay. The three boys, who are budding footballers, can now live safe and happy in their own home. I hope this will inspire more people to come forward to join such initiatives,” said Ashique Kainikkara, the coordinator of the charity match.
Mohammed Ashique, Mohammed Roshan and Mohammed Ramees lost their house at Janathapady in Nilambur during the floods last year. Their house was completely damaged and they had to move out to a rented house at Chandakkunnu. Their father, who is a carpenter, is the sole breadwinner.
Mohammed Ashique and Roshan are degree students while younger brother Ramees is in Plus Two. The three brothers have played football for their respective colleges and schools.