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Kolkata, 5 February:  Two Indian teams – India North and India South will represent the country to play the first Street Children Cricket World Cup (SCCWC) at the prestigious Lords Cricket Ground in England. The teams will arrive in Cambridge on the 30th of April 2019 and after two days of cricket at Parker’s Piece, a municipal park in Cambridge, the Finals will be held at Lords on the 7th of May 2019. Gearing up for the big game, just ahead of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Bal Raksha Bharat and Hope Foundation are jointly training the India North team of four boys and four girls in Kolkata. Harnessing the power of Cricket, this unique World Cup will unite street-connected children from across the world in London and Cambridge to play an international cricket tournament, and campaign for their rights and protection. These young people will make their voices heard and make recommendations, inspiring countries, governments and communities to better protect, respect and support street-connected children worldwide. Alongside the cricketing action, the young people involved will participate in a unique Model UN Congress for street children’s rights, acting as ambassadors addressing the specific issues they face and making recommendations to protect street children’s rights worldwide to achieve lasting change.

According to Bal Raksha Bharat study, nearly 20 lakh children in India live on streets. Nearly 80% do not have an identity or access to social protection schemes making them vulnerable and invisible.

Delighted to put together a team for India, Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Bal Raksha Bharat said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for children to demonstrate their talent at this global platform and what better than at the Home of Cricket – Lords. These are vulnerable, yet resourceful children, who, given the opportunity, can realise their true potential.  The match will engage, train, empower and encourage children to be champions of change and inspire others. Bal Raksha Bharat supports the global operations of Street Child United, and together we aim to make the invisibles visible.”

Speaking of the opportunity Geeta Venkadakrishnan, Director Hope Kolkata Foundation shared, “For the last 20 years The Hope Foundation has invested in the protection and education of children living on the streets and in the slum communities, we have helped over 55 000 children through education projects alone. Their rights, needs and potential are at the heart of all of our work.  We are very proud partners of the Street Child Cricket World Cup which will be a platform to recognise the voices and dreams of these vulnerable children. The event is a opportunity to raise awareness of the child’s right to belong to their own community, to the global community and to live life to their full potential.”

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