“The secretary told me about collecting funds. We, the captains, have gathered here to discuss that... There will be a meeting like this every Sunday." The speaker who is putting forth such a serious agenda is a young boy named Adin. He makes the announcement on a makeshift mic, quite an ingenious one at that: the thick stem of a coconut tree, propped on a stick, is used as the mic stand, while another small stem of a tree is used as the mic.
In an endearing video from Kerala’s Malappuram district, Adin is seen to addressing a gathering of boys and girls, who are seated on makeshift benches — coconut stems, with some balanced on small rocks.
The meeting on a sandy ground at a village in Nilambur was convened to discuss how the group of children can raise funds to buy a football and some jerseys. Uploaded by social worker Sushanth Nilambur, the video has garnered around 1.5 million views so far. After the video went viral, the children managed to get football and jersey the next day.
In the video, Adin, who is the president of the group, invites members from the gathering to take the agenda forward. In typical Malappuram dialect, each young member begins the speech by greeting the gathering and voices their view succinctly. Of course, some children are seen breaking into giggles in the middle of their speech, yet are encouraged to continue by the others.
One among them, Ajin, who is also known as Appus, explains the fund collection process: “We are raising funds for jerseys and football. For that, I request each one of you to contribute Rs 10. You will have to chip in every Sunday.”
Arjun, the secretary, who is seen seated on a plastic stool, then explains how the members can collect funds: “From Monday to Saturday, do not buy any sweets. Anyway, sweets are bad for your teeth. Instead, use that money to contribute to the collection.”
The president adds that they can set aside Rs 2 per day from Monday to Friday, to collect Rs 10 per week.
Standing behind the ‘mic’ and requesting everyone to contribute, another member, a girl identified as Ananya or Kunjava, says that all their footballs, which they have bought from the funds collected previously, deflated, and that’s why they need a new one.
Once they raise sufficient funds, the group plans to buy a football from Flipkart. “The ball will cost us Rs 400 to Rs 500, but we need more to buy jerseys,” Adin says in the video.
The team then felicitates their best goalkeeper with a ponada (shawl). While making the announcement, the secretary laughingly apologises since their ponada happens to be a plastic cover.
Sushanth said he'd chanced upon the meeting, which was being convened on a small field behind his house in Nilambur. Wishing all players well, he also contributed a small, undisclosed amount to the president.
Reacting to the video, many lauded the efforts of the children, with some commenting on how they conducted themselves with dignity at the meeting.
Some also noted how the secretary (Arjun) handled the situation when a young boy named Nishad had difficulty speaking. "This kid makes mistakes while speaking. Please be patient with him and do not laugh. He came up to speak to you," Arjun is heard saying in the video.
Foot Ball വാങ്ങിക്കാൻ വേണ്ടിയുള്ള മീറ്റിംഗ്Posted by Sushanth Nilambur on Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Update: The kids in the video managed to get help several well-wishers.
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