Nandha Kumar hails from a small slum in Vyasarpadi, Chennai. At the age of 7, his father had to stop working owing to health issues that put immense pressure on his mother to keep the family financially afloat. She began selling snacks outside different school premises that helped the family make an average of about Rs. 3000-5000 a month - but it wasn’t enough. Barely able to make ends meet, Nandha Kumar and his family survived on a single meal every day.
With the burden of his family’s problems on his young shoulders, Nandha was unable to attend school regularly. SCSTEDS, a CRY project partner, decided to tackle the problem head-on. Observing his interest in soccer, they encouraged him to continue his education by facilitating his participation in the school team. At the age of 9, Nandha Kumar played in an under-10 tournament, organized by the Chennai Football Association (CFA) in Vyasarpadi and scored maximum goals for his team - paving the way for their win! CRY didn’t know it then, but a rising sports star was born!
Nandha Kumar went on to completing his B.Com at Hindustan University in Chennai with a full scholarship while playing for the Hindustan Eagles. Lauded by professionals such as Ronaldinho during his stint with the Premier Futsal League, he was chosen to play for Chennai City FC (CCFC) in 2016 and has currently been loaned to Delhi Dynamos for the ISL. Owing to his outstanding performance at CCFC, he was then directly selected to represent the Indian team in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) under-23 Championship in Doha and Singapore in 2017.
A powerhouse of talent, Nandha continues to represent India in various countries - the child who not only completed his education but also made his dreams come true!
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India has an estimated 46 million children between 6 and 18 years of age who are not in school (source: RGI Census Population Projection 2016 and....