Kolkata: The Kolkata police came up with a novel way to improve relations with some very special denizens of the city - the hearing and speech impaired. They decided to organise a football tournament. Some people might call it unfair competition, but the boys in red, who suffer from speech and hearing impairments, were not complaining. The opportunity to compete as equals with their more fortunate counterparts was a special occasion for them. "They don't play outside too much. And now they are playing against this school. They are so excited that they've been practising for several days," said Swapan Kundu, a teacher. This is the fourth match in the football tournament that the Kolkata police dreamed up to win the confidence of the city's youth. And no effort was spared to ensure these rather special youth did not feel out of place. "They cannot hear the whistle that is being blown, so for them we are using red flags so they know something is wrong and the game must stop," said Dipak Das, the referee. How far this football match really improves police-citizen ties remains to be seen, but what was clear was a rare triumph of the spirit. Though the Calcutta Deaf and Dumb School lost the game 3-0, they won a much bigger battle.
Topics : Football