New Delhi, India: Habitat for Humanity, the global housing non-profit organisation, and Asian Tour, the official sanctioning body of professional golf in Asia, have joined hands once again to champion the cause of affordable housing and sanitation for under-privileged, low-income families in India.
At the recently-concluded Panasonic Open India, a Pro-Am tournament was played at the Delhi Golf Club in support of Habitat for Humanity India.
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 R. Gopal (Managing Director – Goodrich-Maritime), Arjun Nohwar (Head – Asia Pacific – Uber for Business, Uber) and Yvo Metzelaar (Managing Director – Pressto India) come 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 Kartik.
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.
Proceeds from the auction will help Habitat India build shelter and sanitation for vulnerable communities such as the farmers’ widows, families affected by the Kerala floods, and families living with 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 its 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, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Prior to winning his first Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India, Indian 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 at Delhi Golf Club.
During tournament week, Asian Tour golfers Udayan Mane, Koh Deng Shan along with Cho and other 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. This home is our dream and these eminent personalities are helping us realise our dream,” said Devi. Widowed 10 years ago, Devi 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.
Meanwhile, Khaled, who is deaf, 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 of people like Sheela and Shabnam,” said 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,” said Singaporean golfer Koh.
Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India, said: “For 35 years, Habitat India has been relentlessly working towards building decent, affordable housing and improved sanitation for under-privileged 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 to the Asian Tour, the entire golfing community and all the business leaders who came out to support Habitat for Humanity.”
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