A warm gesture and a commendable initiative by ‘Real Madrid Mumbai’, the supporters’ club from Mumbai, India.
Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”, and I could not agree more with that saying. Charity is a great human characteristic, for giving and sharing are one of the best virtues of humanity.
Real Madrid winning La Liga was something all Madridistas cherished during the ongoing pandemic, but an important initiative by ‘Real Madrid Mumbai’ shows that football’s impact can extend well beyond trophies.
July 25 marked one year since the group was formed and found. The group organizes occasional football matches against other fan clubs in Mumbai and holds screenings for heavyweight clashes during the season.
I had the privilege of getting in touch with one of the representatives of the group, Chris Fernandez. He was one of those who volunteered during the donation drive and provided insights into how they decided to celebrate both the La Liga victory and their first anniversary generously.
According to Chris, it all stemmed from a Twitter post of LFC Mangalore, the supporters’ club of Liverpool from the city of Mangalore. They celebrated the Premier League triumph by helping people in need. That is what motivated Real Madrid Mumbai to do something similar.
“After a lot of brainstorming and having no idea how to emulate the work of LFC Mangalore, we decided we would go out and ask the needy what they would prefer. An underprivileged man, upon consulting, said that providing rice grains would be a good idea. Hence, we decided to donate rice bags of 1.5kg each to every household instead of offering one-time meals since it would ensure that they wouldn’t run out of supplies for at least one or two weeks”, Chris conceded.
Real Madrid Mumbai volunteers headed to one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Mumbai. All the safety measures were taken – notably wearing masks and gloves – while distributing the rice bags and masks to underprivileged people.
The group raised a total of ₹11,000 with the help of contributions from everyone associated with Real Madrid Mumbai and bought 510 kilograms of rice. The volunteers also donated around 500 masks and educated the people about social distancing and the role masks play in fighting the virus.
Hey @realmadriden fans, something good took place yesterday as the members of our Supporters Club decided to celebrate the Supporters Club’s 1st Anniversary and our 34th Liga title in a way in the COVD-19 breakdown by helping the needful ones. (1/n) pic.twitter.com/bE9nk5ycPG
— Real Madrid Mumbai ³⁴ (@MadridMumbai) July 27, 2020
“Our main aim was to give something back to the community and celebrate our first anniversary of starting the fan club along with the 34th league title.”, Chris added.
This was certainly a great thing to witness amidst all the negativity that the world is surrounded by. A lot of bad things have happened this year in addition to the global pandemic, and small gestures like these can certainly make a big difference to the world we live in.
One easily forgets who suffers the most during the COVID-19 crisis. Many people are quickly running out of food. Their livelihoods has been taken away from them. They have no source of earning money, and neither do they have a proper shelter to reside in.
I applaud Real Madrid Mumbai for their efforts. They risked their lives during a pandemic just so that they could help other people who were in need of selfless service.
“We hope that what we did inspires others to do something similar and help those who are in the middle of a dire situation.”, Chris concluded.
I feel really proud to be a Madridista after seeing what my fellow Madridistas have done. Real Madrid, and football, has once again proved that the sport can cross all borders and unite everyone, while also inspiring people to work for the greater good and the welfare of mankind.