25 January, 2021

Tim And Paul’s Mission Calcutta

Two British men gave up careers as banker and diplomat to help underprivileged children

Former English diplomat Paul Walsh (holding ball) with fellow rugby players
Tim And Paul’s Mission Calcutta

The rugby version of Shahrukh Khan’s Chak De will feature a former English diplomat, Paul Walsh. Though the central character of the soon-to-be-rel­eased movie–Jungle Cry—is Rudraksha Jena, a coach from Odisha’s Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, it was Walsh who helped script a rare Indian story of sporting inspiration and joy.

In 2007, Walsh, who had served in the British High Commission before starting his own foundation, Jungle Crows, in 2004, was invited to take a team to London to play rugby, part of an initiative by the UK charity, TourAid. They were to play in the Nations Cup, an under-14 tournament for teams from disadvantaged backgrounds. No one expected much from the KISS-Jungle Crows, rank outsiders in the twelve-team championship.

“I’d to fight to get them included, everyone thought we were mad. Kalinga Ins­titute of Social Sciences agreed we could send a team made up entirely of adi­vasi children from their school. When they went on to win the tournament by beating Langa Lions from...



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