Football is the world’s most popular sport, and India has the world’s largest youth population. This year, presents a wonderful opportunity for the sport in India, as the country is set to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year.
On this occasion, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Local Organizing Committee for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, with the support of the Government of India, have created a pioneering program called ‘Mission XI Million’ (MXIM), that intends to bring at least 11 million school kids in the country actively playing football in the run up to the event.
Over 1500 students, from across 250 schools will pledge their support to the mission, and dedicate a small message to the Indian national football team, at Harvard Model United Nations India (HMUN India), which is the most premier student conference of its kind in the nation.
Speaking to the students through a video message, Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director, LOC, FIFA U-17 World Cup said, “In order to be an integral human being you need not only to be smart and have it, but also to strike a balance between studies and life, and that’s what we’re trying to bring through Mission XI Million by taking football to all the students around the country”.
Each year, HMUN India brings together not only the brightest students, but also key educators, thought leaders, youth icons, and corporate partners, to engage Gen-Z students in open dialogue towards a better future, for all.
Joy Bhattacharjya, Project Director, LOC, FIFA U-17 World Cup said “I know that many of you [students] have dreams and aspirations of making our country a much better place to be, and we’re trying to do much the same using football as our way of promoting cultures, values and health, among the children”.
The conference, with the theme of ‘Development through Diversity’, will see students take the Mission XI Million pledge and carry official footballs back with them, to promote the sport in their schools.
Harvard Model UN India 2017 is being held from 12th to 15th August at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre and is co-hosted by Worldview Education and Harvard International Relations Council.
(FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017)