India’s version of Sport Relief, or Cricket Relief as it is known, has raised millions of rupees to give young underprivileged Britons a start in life. Organiser Kapil Dev brought representatives of all branches of cricket, from the 20-20 League to the Test team, together for the occasion.
“Through no fault of their own, some of these people in their twenties have never had a proper education or done a day's work in their life,” said Kapil. “It's heartbreaking to look at them, lolling listlessly in front of the telly and heading towards an early grave on a diet of trans fats, drugs and alcohol.”
Glamorous co-host Shilpa Shetty confirmed the harrowing truth based on her own experiences, but said help was at hand. “Thanks to Cricket Relief, we will be able to bring thousands of British kids over to cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore to gain sufficiency skills and get back their self respect. Within weeks of starting to live on the cities’ refuse tips they will be changed characters.”
Kapil explained that working dawn to dusk to support their families gave the beneficiaries a new sense of purpose, and the one nutritious meal a day they could buy if they worked hard helped to transform them from flaccid lardarses into nimble alert individuals. “You never know, we might make decent cricketers out of a few of them,” he said, “but let’s learn to walk before we try to run.”
Commentators’ fears that the competition for pickings on the tips might cause unrest have proved unfounded. “Without these migrant workers, the recycling sector would go into decline,” said Minister of State of Labour and Employment, Shri Harish Rawat.
“Our kids are desperate to get away from all this, to learn to read and write and get a proper job, and thanks to money raised by Sport Relief in the UK, they are able to gain valuable qualifications and make India one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies. It’s only thanks to the underclass of a country blighted by its caste system that we can keep our basic services going.”