Milind Soman takes his fitness agenda to Rural Maharashtra

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Global Parli, an NGO working on a 360 degree rural development model in Beed Maharashtra organised a Sports day event for the youth of Parli (Beed Maharashtra) on the 14th of November. Milind Soman was the guest of honour. The sports activities included football tournament between 15 villages and 5km marathon running for boys and girls. A champion breaststroke swimmer and a marathon runner, Milind came in to prod the youth of Parli to participate in sports activities. The event witnessed large participation with over 150 entries for marathon and 15 football teams from all thevillages in the project.  

At the prize distribution ceremony, Milind encouraged the youth to come forward and participate in such events and put light on the significance of sports to lead a healthy lifestyle. Says Milind Soman, “The role of rural India for the countries growth story is critical. With the increase in rural-urban connect, the window of developmental opportunities for rural India increases highly. In my experience sports acts as a catalyst in bringing change in society, I foresee a tremendous future looking at the enthusiasm shown towards sports by Parli’s youth”. 

Project Global Parli, pioneered by Mayank Gandhi, who was the National Executive member of AAP in Maharashtra, was initiated during the worst drought faced by Beed district of Marathawada. Being at ground zero, Mayank and his team realised that this long running problem needs a permanent solution.

He grouped 15 of the worst drought hit villages in Parli and decided to focus on bringing 360 degree transformation from the grass root level, aiming to be a pilot project that can be replicated across India. In 3 years the aim is to increase the per capita income of each house hold by 250%. 

Mayank Gandhi says, “Being a fitness evangelist, Milind’s presence was a huge shot in the arm for Project Global Parli. His speech in chaste Marathi struck a chord with people of Beed and ignited an interest towards sports. We are laying the ground for a Sports and Arts club in each village to foster these activities”. 

Within 4 months, Global Parli ‎has covered huge ground with developmental activities including formation of village bodies, drip irrigation project , distribution of poultry and animals (goats) to encourage alternative sources of income, re-charging of over 50 bore wells, distribution of vegetable saplings for building kitchen garden to 4500 households to check malnutrition, organised general medical camps and specialized medical camps to test for breast cancer and Pap smear (screening procedure for cervical cancer) for women in 15 villages, football and marathon training camps to engage youth etc . The entire initiative has been supported by crowd funding, contributions from business houses and individuals. To participate in the initiative log on to www.globalparli.org or contactjimmy.mathew@globalparli.org.

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