Parcham, a Mumbai-based NGO, has been on a mission to help women from marginalised communities of Mumbra to break free of prejudices and gender stereotypes with the help of football. From being an instrument of freedom, the sport has now become a viable career option for the Parcham girls. To further empower the football dreams of these aspiring players, global sportswear brand PUMA has decided to support them.
PUMA will provide training gear and boots to help the girls to perform better on the field. The sportswear brand has also agreed to utilize its roster of global sports partners and athletes to provide coaching sessions for Parcham’s trainers, coaches, and players. It is already collaborating with Manchester City women’s team to mentor female players and coaches in Mumbai with Parcham Collective and OSCAR foundation.
“It’s very heartening to see a global sports brand like PUMA support us in our efforts to encourage more girls to play football. I truly believe sports is an equaliser and have the power to change lives. It is helping us break stereotypes about girls from Mumbra and other marginalised communities. Playing football has not just helped them build their confidence, it has also given them a new outlook and a realization of their right and love for play,” said Salma Ansari of Parcham.
Managing Director of Puma India and Southeast Asia, Abhishek Ganguly said, “Sports has the ability to change lives – it is a powerful tool to challenge gender norms and stereotypes. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to play, irrespective of their gender or background. Through this association, we are looking to drive the change needed for a future where every woman and girl has equal opportunities to pursue her dreams,” said Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director of PUMA India and Southeast Asia.
In 2012, around 20 young girls from Mumbra, a small town in Thane district near Mumbai, got together to train for football and decided to register the organization as Parcham. Slowly, the movement grew as parents started to send their daughters for weekly training sessions. As this initiative spread to the adjacent areas, it started to garner global appreciation and was chronicled in the 2016 documentary ‘Under the Open Sky’. With the new association with PUMA, the Parcham girls will aspire to reach new heights.
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