Avinash Khandelwal (from left), Jay Prakash Mandal, Amit Khandelwal and Nitin Mukesh at Shaheed Nirmal Mahto Stadium in Kadma on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Many play for money, some do it for fun and a handful for a cause.
At a time when cricket is arguably the most tainted sport in the country, four Adityapur youths have launched a noble endeavour that shows how the game can be used to serve the less fortunate.
Amit Khandelwal (21), Avinash Khandelwal (21), Jay Prakash Mandal (20) and Nitin Mukesh (18) have taken it upon themselves to help out special students in and around the steel city. The four friends have launched an event management firm that will organise a host of activities, including cricket matches, to fund charitable institutions.
The first event of their firm Jharkhand Entertainment Planner, which was launched last month, is a week-long canvas ball cricket tournament that started at Kadma’s Shaheed Nirmal Mahto Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Amit said proceeds from the under-the-lights tourney would go to students of School of Hope, an institution working for the mentally challenged.
“We are organising this tournament in association with WAY (Walking Along Youth) Trust. Earlier, we had distributed fruits to cancer patients and spent time with inmates of Cheshire Home under WAY’s banner,” he said.
Avinash, who also happens to be Amit’s cousin, informed that the team participation fee for the tournament had been fixed at Rs 2,100. Ten outfits from the steel city are participating in the 10-over-a-side matches. The champion will walk home with Rs 25,000, while the runner-up will receive Rs 10,000. We have roped in sponsors and also contributed from our own pockets,” he said, adding that the total cost of organising the meet would come to around Rs 1 lakh.
Amit added that they had hoped to save around Rs 15,000 from the cricket tourney. “It’s a small beginning and we hope to raise more funds for special students in the months to come. Our firm has plans to organise live concerts of stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma and singer Honey Singh as well as a fashion show later this year. Honey Singh’s event will be organised in Bhubaneswar,” he added.
Recalling their visit to Sundernagar-based Cheshire Home during Durga Puja, Amit said: “I had heard inmates of the home are fond of music and dance. I arranged for a music system there and danced with them. They were so happy that I was moved,” recalled Amit, also a karateka.
Nitin, who is pursuing his BBA from New Delhi, said the four friends always had plans to do something like this. “We are starting our endeavour with a cricket event and have plans to do more,” he added.
Echoing Nitin, engineering student in Pune Jay Prakash said they came from business families, but had dreams of doing something on their own for a noble cause. “It gives you immense satisfaction,” he added.