Nilu cannot remember his mother. His father, unable to support him, simply relinquished his responsibility and asked an old family friend to look after Nilu. Living under the Howrah Bridge, the family friend tried for some time to make ends meet, but he too had difficulties. When he was just 5 years old, Nilu was brought to Calcutta Rescue. He had no one.
With no home to go to, Calcutta Rescue supported him by providing shelter in a hostel. Every week, Nilu comes to Calcutta Rescue for education and food supplies. Calcutta Rescue also provides him with clothing and, yes, football boots. Because Nilu is a magician with the football and he dreams of being like his idol, the Brazilian Neymar.
Over the last one year, Nilu, now 17, has studied with the dedication and determination of a professional footballer. His education work continues. His mathematics was weak and Calcutta Rescue ramped up his tuition in this area. He completed the Class X examinations three months ago. In late May, we got his results. He passed everything including mathematics. It was the best moment in his short and very difficult life.
He is now practicing at a football ground next to East Bengal club and doing what he loves most – playing football – every single day. His coaches believe he has enough talent and hard work ethic to make it to one of the bigger clubs one day. Those days under the Howrah bridge are now distant memories, and the Nilu of today is more hopeful than ever before about a better future.