The Australian High Commissioner, Mr Peter Varghese, today presented a cheque for Rs 10,00,000 to Magic Bus for the provision of sport and personal development training to 240 underprivileged in Mumbai. The cheque was received by Magic Bus' Senior Sustainability Manager, Meena Sriramane.
Mr Varghese said Australia is pleased to be able to assist these children reach their full potential by providing opportunities through sport. Australia and India share many sporting links at the elite level, and we are glad to be able to give something back at the grassroots level.
The funding was provided under the Direct Aid Program (DAP), administered by the Australian High Commission in New Delhi. The DAP funds grassroots development programs in a range of areas, including education, health, income generation and the environment.
Australia had previously funded Magic Bus in 2007-08 to run sporting camps for underprivileged children under the Australian Sports Outreach Program.
During his recent visit to India, the Australian Prime Minister announced the Australian Sports Outreach Program would be expanded to deliver more grass-roots sports-based activities to India's youth, women and people with a disability, in collaboration with Indian partners.
Funding for DAP was also increased in 2009-10 to A$250,000 (approx. 1 crore rupees). Since 2001, when the program was launched in its current form, DAP has distributed more than A$1 million (approx. 4 crore rupees) to small-scale development activities.