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It was in March 2011 when I came across a news article that astounded me. Tribal kids from Orissa were the winners of an international Rugby tournament in England. For days I wondered, how is it that kids who had never seen a Rugby ball till three months before the tournament come home winning the championship cup? How is it that tribal kids who were tiny, skinny, practiced barefeet and played in unsuitable weather conditions managed to run rings around experienced players of opposition teams like England, South Africa, Thailand and the likes? My search led me  to Paul, Tudu and Zaffar of the Jungle Crows. The more I read about them more I was determined to tell their story.

Rugby gave Tudu and Zaffar their identity as sportsmen. Early in their life the game brought them opportunities, recognition and fame. Besides the pure passion the boys have for the game what is fascinating is their obsessive determination to open up this world of theirs to people back home - where life circumstances are limiting in war torn Afghanistan and insurgency ridden Jharkhand. Tudu wants to see every kid have the opportunity to play and Zaffar aspires to train the Afghan Rugby team to international standards.

Most of us wait to ‘arrive’ to achieve a certain level of success before we are ready to give back. But Tudu and Zaffar haven’t waited for that moment to arrive. They are ready, willing and have the itch to do it NOW. Their drive is innate and they have a sense of pursuit, which is rare to find. I believe that Tudu is a leader in the making. He will be the face and the source of strength for indigenous people in the Naxal belt. And Zaffar is an inspiration for he embodies the much needed hope and liberation for people in his native land Afghanistan.

Tudu and Zaffar have a dream and a task that’s mammoth. Without a penny to their name or resources at their disposal they are determined to take on the world. Come what may they are determined to MAKE IT HAPPEN. So am I.

As a daughter of deaf parents who were national and international athletes, I experienced first hand this power of sport. My parents are who they are today because they not only found but also pursued their medium of expression. They found their voice, their opportunity and liberated themselves from any kind of restraints they may have had as deaf people. I owe it to them to tell the story of Maidaan, the story of Tudu and Zaffar.

I thank Paul, Tudu and Zaffar of the the Jungle Crows for their continuous support. Please do follow the Jungle Crows

Thank you!