New Delhi, November 1: Habitat for Humanity, the global housing non-profit organisation and Asian Tour, the official sanctioning body of golf in Asia, joined hands once again to champion the cause of affordable housing and sanitation for underprivileged, low-income families in India.
At the recently-concluded Panasonic Open India, a Pro-Am tournament was played in support of Habitat for Humanity India on October 23 at the Delhi Golf Club.
The event witnessed a cross-section of professional golfers such as Miguel Carballo (Argentina), Lionel Weber (France), former Indian cricketers Murali Kartik and S Badrinath and business leaders like R. Gopal (Managing Director – Goodrich-Maritime), Arjun Nohwar (Head – Asia Pacific – Uber for Business, Uber) and Yvo Metzelaar (Managing Director – Pressto India) who came together to support Habitat for Humanity India.
“It was not just another game of Golf, this was an opportunity to transform the lives of people who lack basic amenities such as a decent home or access to a toilet. We enjoyed playing this Pro-Am in support of Habitat for Humanity India,” said Murali Kartik, former Indian National Cricketer, who played in the Habitat for Humanity Pro-Am.
On the same day, Habitat for Humanity India hosted a silent auction of golf-related memorabilia and unique experiences. The attendees made bids for golf clubs signed by professional golfers like Justin Thomas, Keegan Bradley and Xander Schauffele, who won the WGC-HSBC Champions last week.
The proceeds from the auction will help Habitat India build decent shelter and sanitation for vulnerable communities such as the farmers’ widows, families affected by the Kerala floods, families living disabilities and diseases like HIV AIDS.
“The need for safe and affordable housing for families is particularly pressing in Asia, especially with immense population growth amidst limited city space. The Asian Tour trusts that through this partnership, Habitat for Humanity will be able to expand their brand awareness and garner support from the golfing community to help more families increase their access to affordable housing. In addition, our staff and selected Asian Tour players will volunteer our time on-site in some of the communities we host tournaments to help Habitat activate the partnership first hand. We are proud to support and share the philosophy that through shelter, we can empower,” said Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour.
Khalin Joshi with the kids from RC Golf academy at the Golf clinic held in support of the Habitat for Humanity India.
Prior to winning his first Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India, India’s Khalin Joshi contributed to Habitat’s mission in a unique way by imparting leadership and life lessons that are engrained in the sport of golf to Habitat India’s 11 youth leaders through a Golf clinic held on October 27 at the Delhi Golf Club.
On October 29, Asian Tour Golfers Udayan Mane, Koh Deng Shan along with Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour and the Asian Tour staff partnered with Habitat India to build a home for Sheela Devi and Shabnam Khaled in Begumpur, New Delhi
“I am deeply moved by the efforts taken by all our guests today. This home is our dream and these eminent personalities are helping us realise our dream,” said Sheela Devi. Widowed ten years ago, Sheela lives in a dilapidated house with her two sons and one daughter. Her battle with HIV AIDS does not weaken her resolve to build a better future for her children. Shabnam who is deaf and hard of hearing is also determined to build her own home to improve her children’s lives. She currently lives with her daughter and son in her sister’s house.
“It was humbling to build homes for my fellow Indians who do not have basic necessities like shelter. I hope the golfing community continues to make a difference to the lives people like Sheela and Subnum,” said Udayan Mane.
“It was a very special experience for me to build homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. I admire the work they are doing in India and was happy that I could contribute in my own way,” said Koh Deng Shan, the Singaporean golfer.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India said: “Since last 35 years, Habitat India has been relentlessly working towards building decent, affordable housing and improved sanitation for the underprivileged families across the country. The Pro-Am tournament, the subsequent auction and the Build with Habitat India are integral to our vision of building a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We are grateful towards Asian Tour, the entire golfing community and all the business leaders who came out to support Habitat for Humanity.”