From Vice to Victory: The Inspiring Football Journey of Bicharpur, India’s Mini Brazil

Source: AIFF

Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, a passionate follower of sports in the country, used his platform, Mann Ki Baat, on Sunday, July 30, 2023, to highlight the inspiring transformation of a small town in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district called Bicharpur. Once known for illicit liquor and narcotics, the village has now earned the nickname “Mini Brazil” due to its remarkable success in football.

The journey of Bicharpur’s transformation began around 25 years ago when the village was plagued by the menace of illicit liquor and addiction, especially among the youth. However, a former footballer and coach named Raees Ahmed recognized the potential of the young talents in the village. Despite limited resources, Raees Ahmed dedicated himself to teaching football to the youth, and within a few years, football became immensely popular in Bicharpur, defining its identity.

The Football Kranti program, introduced by Raees Ahmed, further boosted the growth of football in the village. Through this program, young individuals were connected to the game and provided proper training. The initiative’s success has resulted in the emergence of over 40 national and state-level players from Bicharpur. As a result, more than 1,200 football clubs have been established in the Shahdol district, marking a revolution in football in the region.

The positive impact of this football revolution has been significant, transforming the once infamous village into a thriving football nursery for the entire country. The PM praised the determination and talent of the Indian youth, emphasizing the need to discover and nurture such potential in the country. The success of the Bicharpur initiative has brought pride to the nation as these young players go on to represent India on a national level.

Madhya Pradesh Football Association Honorary Secretary, Mr. Amit Dev, expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for recognizing and encouraging the efforts to promote football in the state and beyond. He pledged to continue working hard to advance the game with this remarkable initiative.

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