Nandha says ‘Slumdog’ boys are his inspiration

Son of a bus conductor, Nandha hails from a slum area on the outskirts of Chennai.

Nandhakumar Sekar whose brilliant left-footer guided East Bengal to have the taste of derby victory against Mohun Bagan Super Giants after a gap of eight years is the first and only member of the family to have taken up football professionally. 

Son of a bus conductor, Nandha hails from a slum on the outskirts of Chennai. In a recent interaction with the club's website representative, the 29-year-old wing-forward revealed, “Those boys who live in the slum area I used to live are my inspiration. They are my ‘Slumdog’ boys." 

He added, "Watching me playing on the TV they become crazy whenever I score or perform well. They are my inspiration. More significantly, the young lads from our slum areas are coming to take up football to build up their careers. I feel it has been a big achievement for me."

Nandhakumar also divulged saying, “My family members did not have the idea that playing football professionally can also help to earn. Everybody had a common idea of going out after a certain age and searching for a job."

He added, “I loved to play the game along with other local friends. When I was studying 11th standard I came to know that representing my state would help me to receive a certificate and a scholarship and also, the money to be earned from playing football for the first time."

Nandha continued, "That was inspiring for me. I explained it and convinced my parents that you also can build up your career by choosing football as a profession." 

Nandha admitted that his childhood and upbringing in the slum area helped him to gain a lot. He said, “I have learned to adjust, to be flexible, living in the slum. I learned to keep myself cool even if I am in a crisis.” 

Nandhakumar Sekar's rag-to-riches journey in Indian football is at midway. He is now on the way to becoming a ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ of Chennai in the near future. Still, the prolific wing-half wants to contribute to the boys of his slum area through football in the future. 

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