As many as 16 clubs will be inaugurated this week by the Commissioner and 10 more will be opened later, said Joint Commissioner (North) V Balakrishnan. “The idea is to have one such club in all the slums,” said the official. There are already 23 clubs in north Chennai and the additional clubs will make them more accessible and make the more of the facility.
City police have collaborated with the Corporation and NGOs and also have sought sponsors to get sports equipment to be used by the children.
Elephant Gate inspector K Devaraju said they have set up two clubs in the community halls of Kalyanapuram and Jatkapuram slums. “There are about 20 boys and 20 girls who have enrolled in each club and the halls will be open for them for two hours every day initially to take part in sports activities. Children can play chess and carrom board indoor, and they will be taken to nearby grounds for outdoor activities. It would help them focus more on education and sports activities and prevent them from being misled by miscreants into illegal activities,” he said.
Each of these clubs will have a caretaker and a scoutmaster who would guide the children and train them to hone their skills. Children up to 18 can enrol in the club. Joint Commissioner had earlier arranged job opportunities for educated and uneducated adults, including women from slum areas, in collaboration with Makkal Auto.
Though there are more than 100 such clubs in the city, one for each police station, a few such as the ones in Kannagi Nagar, Chintadripet and Arumbakkam have made great strides and students from there have made a mark in the sports arena and education.