New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his monthly address, Mann Ki Baat, shed light on the remarkable journey of Bicharpur, a small town in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district, which has evolved from a hotbed of illicit liquor and narcotics into a thriving hub of football talent, fondly referred to as “Mini Brazil.”
Addressing the nation, PM Modi lauded the inspiring transformation of Bicharpur and its association with football, which has brought hope and opportunities for the youth in the region. He stated, “This is the inspiring journey of Mini Brazil. You must be thinking that from where Mini Brazil came in Madhya Pradesh, well, that is the twist. In MP, Bicharpur is a village in Shahdol. Bicharpur is called Mini Brazil, since today this village has become a stronghold of the rising stars of football.”
The transformational journey of Bicharpur began around two and a-half decades ago, when the village was grappling with the scourge of illicit liquor and addiction. However, it was the beautiful game of football that helped the village rise above its challenges, thanks to the efforts of Raees Ahmed, a former footballer and a dedicated coach.
Raees Ahmed recognised the untapped potential of the village’s youth and embarked on a journey to nurture their talent. Despite limited resources, he wholeheartedly started training the youngsters in football, and within a short span of time, football gained immense popularity in Bicharpur, becoming synonymous with the village.
Speaking about the impact of Ahmed’s efforts, PM Modi stated, “Now a programme called Football Kranti is also going on here. Under this programme, youth are connected with this game and given training. This programme has been so successful that more than 40 national and state-level players have emerged from Bicharpur.”
The football revolution in Bicharpur has been nothing short of exceptional, with the ongoing Football Kranti programme witnessing the formation of over 1,200 football clubs in the Shahdol district. The once notorious village, known for its vices, has now become a nursery of talent, producing skilled footballers who are making a mark at the national level.
Highlighting the significance of this transformation, the Prime Minister said, “Just imagine that a tribal area that was known for illicit liquor and infamous for drug addiction has now become the Football Nursery of the country. That is why it is said, Where there is a will, there is a way. There is no dearth of talent in our country. There is certainly a need to find and nurture them. Subsequently, these youth also bring laurels to the country and lend direction to the development of the country as well.”
The impact of Bicharpur’s football revolution has been felt throughout the region, and efforts to promote the sport continue to grow. The Madhya Pradesh Football Association Honorary Secretary, Amit Dev, expressed gratitude towards PM Modi for acknowledging and encouraging the initiative. He pledged to work even harder to further advance the game and provide greater opportunities for aspiring football players in the state.