Vijay Barse is a retired Indian professor and social worker and founder of the NGO, Slum Soccer.
Wiki/Biography & Journey to the Slum Soccer
Vijay Barse was born in 1945 (age 75 years; as in 2020) in the Nagpur City of Maharashtra. Vijay Barse’s journey started as a sports professor at Hilshop College in Nagpur, where he served for 36 years. In the afternoon of a rainy day of July 2001, he took shelter under a tree and spotted a group of slum children playing football with a broken plastic bucket, and he realised that it was good for those children as it had kept them away from malice activities. In an interview, Vijay said-
The two hours spent playing football helps inspire and educate them. It also keeps them away from bad habits like pickpocketing, taking to drugs or alcohol, and petty crimes or violence”
Having grown up in the underprivileged background himself, Barse was inspired to start a foundation for the youth of slums and streets.
After his retirement, he received an amount of Rs. 18 Lakhs that he used to buy land, which was about 9 km away from Nagpur. Vijay, along with Rachana (his wife), used the land to build a football academy and founded “Slum Soccer – Krida Vikas Sanstha Nagpur (KSVN).” KSVN runs football programmes and rehabilitates disadvantaged society members.
Slum Soccer’s first tournament was held in Nagpur with a participation of 128 teams. He launched his first Jhopadpatti Football Tournament, a state-level event in Nagpur in 2003. A total of 15 districts of Maharashtra including a tribal belt of Gadricholi (who later emerged champions) participated in the tournament. In the same year, All India Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Jhopadpatti Football Tournament (national-level) was conducted in Nagpur with the participation of 12 Indian states (Orissa won the inaugural tournament). In 2006, Vijay came to know about the ‘Homeless World Cup’ and went to watch its fourth edition in Cape Town, South Africa. The following year, India participated in the next edition of the tournament held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Wife
Vijay Barse belongs to a Hindu Family. Not much is known about his parents and siblings. He is married to Rachana Barse (Professor), and the couple has two sons Priyesh Barse and Dr Abhijit Barse (Social Worker, Entrepreneur).
Awards & Honours
- Reliance Real Hero Award (presented by Sachin Tendulkar) in 2012
- Nagbhushan Award in July 2019
- In 2006, Vijay Barse’s son, Abhijit came to India from the US to help his father carry forward his mission to uplift and rehabilitate slum dwellers and disadvantaged children in the society. Abhijit became the CEO of Slum Soccer, the following year.
- In an interview, Abhijit claimed that apart from Slum Soccer, his father (Vijay Barse) had also worked towards Indo-Pak peace and had organized motorcycle expedition to the border to talk peace. Vijay has also worked for improving the green cover by promoting tree plantation.
- In 2014, Abhijit appeared in the first episode of season 3 of the Satyamev Jayate, hosted by Aamir Khan.
- Slum Soccer has won several awards including the FIFA Diversity Award, FICCI India Sports Award, and 2012 Manthan eNGO Award.
- In January 2020, his biopic titled “Jhund” was released, in which Amitabh Bachchan was seen as ‘Vijay Barse.’ The film also marked the Bollywood debut of the director Nagraj Manjule.