New Delhi: Irfan Pathan, former Indian cricketer & all-rounder announced his retirement from all forms of cricket couple of months back last year. Member of the India team that won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, Pathan belonged to a very humble family background. He grew up with his elder brother, Yusuf Pathan, also an Indian cricketer, in a mosque in Vadodara, Gujarat. His father served as the muezzin. Pathan chose to go back to his roots before announcing retirement from all forms of cricket and he chose to do this with Yuva Unstoppable’s kids from underprivileged backgrounds.
Pathan has been an ambassador of Yuva Unstoppable’s cause since quite some time now. YUVA Unstoppable is an NGO in India. It works towards providing sanitation & hygiene facilities, digital classrooms, and a great overall learning experience to the children of government schools. YUVA’s founder and Chief Inspiration Officer is Amitabh Shah, a graduate of Yale University. On his return to India in May 2005 after graduation, Amitabh Shah visited orphanages, schools for the children living in the slums of India, and shelter homes. He founded Yuva Unstoppable in the same year with a small group of enthusiastic individuals to serve the poor and needy. Since then it has mobilized over 1.5 lacs volunteers, re-developed over 1500 schools, and impacted more than 6 lacs children from low-income communities.
Pathan was in Mumbai to inaugurate the 1500th school of Yuva and spend some time with the leaders of tomorrow – the children of Shivaji government school. He was impressed to see the transformation Yuva Unstoppable has brought about in the entire school campus by building new & hygienic sanitation facilities, safe & clean drinking water & dishwashing area, value-based educational paintings, and digital classroom. The children loved engaging in a fun interaction with Pathan where they asked him all sorts of questions and the former answered them all with great fervour and enthusiasm.
Mr Shah & his wife, Mrs Rashmi Shah have known Pathan and his family since more than 5 years now. To quote Mr Shah, “Irfan Pathan is not only a fantastic cricketer but also a great human being. With all the accolades and glory that he has won, he is as humble as he was when he first began his career with the Indian national cricket team back in 2003. He has made India proud, both with his achievements and his virtues.”
On the other hand, Irfan Pathan was humbled to be able to support Mr Shah and his non-profit one more time. “It is always a pleasure to spend time with Yuva Unstoppable’s kids. I am proud to be associated with them and to be able to support their cause. Amitabh Shah and his wife Rashmi Shah are doing wonderful work by making a difference in the lives of these kids. My brother and I were raised in an impoverished family and we have struggled to make it big. I am optimistic that with Yuva Unstoppable’s support, needful children will be able to realise their dreams and live a better life.”
Yuva Unstoppable envisions transforming 10,000 schools and empowering 5 million underprivileged children in the coming years. It is driven by the power and potential of young Indians like Pathan.