OSCAR Foundation is a football for development non-profit dedicated to empowering children and youth in low-income communities in India.

OSCAR uses football as a tool to deliver education and life skills sessions enabling children and youth to become role models in their community. Over the last 9 years, more than 12000+ children and youth in India have joined OSCAR’s Football, Education, and Young Leaders’ Programme. OSCAR Foundation is headquartered in Mumbai and has reached out to children in Mumbai, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

VISION

A world where all children and youth have an equal opportunity to succeed.

MISSION

We use the power of football and a network of Young Leaders to develop life skills and improve educational attainment for children from underprivileged communities in India.

MISSION

We use the power of football and a network of Young Leaders to develop life skills and improve educational attainment for children from underprivileged communities in India.

OUR VALUES

Authenticity

Teamwork

Integrity

 Respect

AWARDS AND MILESTONES

2018

BAFTA Award for the film ‘Mumbai
Street Strikers’ produced by BBC

RTS West of England Award for the
documentary ‘Mumbai Street
Strikers’

2012

Believe & Achieve Award by Rotary
Club for OSCAR Founder Ashok
Rathod

2011

Vocational Service Award for
OSCAR Founder Ashok Rathod

2010

Community Achievement Award by
Door Step School

2009

OSCAR Founder Ashok Rathod receives
CNN-IBN Real Hero Award

TEAM

Ashok Rathod

Founder Director
Born and brought up in Mumbai's Ambedkar Nagar slum, Ashok saw many children from his community leave education in pursuit of earning money. Some children even fell prey to drugs, gambling, and illegal activities. In his personal capacity, he discouraged many from taking such a route, but realised that this challenge was big and complex and required a unique approach. A staunch believer in the power of education, Ashok was inspired to start OSCAR Foundation despite his little means. Over the last ten years, Ashok has inspired over 3000 children from Mumbai's slums to complete their education. His unique approach of using Football as a tool to engage children towards education has won him many accolades. Under Ashok's leadership, the OSCAR Programme has expanded to states like Delhi, Karnataka, and Jharkhand. A recipient of many prestigious awards such as the CNN-IBN Real Hero Award, Ashok is also an Ashoka Youth Venture Fellow (2008) and has spoken at many international and national leadership forums on the cause of education.

Anil Rathod

Trustee
Anil Rathod is the Finance Manager of 'Teach For India' - an organisation known for its nation-wide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professional working towards eliminating educational inequity in India. Anil brings over eight years of finance and operations experience to OSCAR and advises us on matters relating to funding and improving operational efficiency. A native of Mumbai, Anil is well-versed with the non-profit sector and understands the ground realities given his vast network.

Deepa Nair

Trustee
Deepa Nair is a Communication Professional with over ten years of experience in Business Journalism and Public Relations. She has worked for some of India's reputed publications like The Hindu. Deepa believes in OSCAR's approach towards education and in developing life skills to bring about a sustainable change in the communities.

Aditi Kotak

Advisor
Aditi Kotak is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) from Mumbai. She has played a key role in structuring the CSR activities at J.M. Baxi group. Aditi believes in equal opportunity for all and is actively involved in supporting and advising OSCAR Foundation on its initiatives.

Krishnan SKK

Advisor
Vice Admiral Krishnan SKK (Retd) is an Indian Navy officer who has seen action during the 1971 war. He has worked as the CEO of the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai before joining as the Chairman and MD of Mazgaon Docks. Mr. Krishnan SKK is also a member of the White Board formed by iVolunteer to provide managerial help to various Mumbai-based NGOs.

Rajeshwari Bhattacharyya

Advisor

A fitness freak, marathoner, and passionate contributor to women and child welfare issues, Rajeshwari (Rajee) is keen on furthering her contribution by associating with OSCAR Foundation.

She has over 25 years of professional experience with expertise in Process automation, Organizational change management, Business Process Transformation, Program management and IT-Operations strategic alignment. She is an alumnus of INSEAD and a qualified Cost Accountant with experience in Financial Services / Insurance & Media sectors. She is currently Heading Technology and Vice President with Radio Mirchi, India’s leading Radio Channel and a group Company of Times of India

Mary Ellen Matsui

Advisor

Mary Ellen is the CEO of Atma, an organisation that provides strategic solutions to NGOs in the field of education. In addition to OSCAR, Mary Ellen is also an advisor on the board of Sol's Arc and a panelist for organisations like UnLtd India, InspireED and UNICEF. Mary Ellen is a graduate from the Telfer School of Management

Vikas Vij

Advisor
Trained as a Corporate Tax Specialist and Chartered Accountant from Arthur Andersen, UK, Vikas moved successfully into the media industry and has since gained extensive experience in producing high quality, international conferences across Europe, the Middle East and India. He started his conference career at UK media giant, EMAP before moving to Terrapinn to work on large scale summits covering subjects as diverse as “Cooling with CO2” to “Sustainable Architecture” to “Securitisation in the Middle East”, and “Urban Transport in India”. In 2009 Vikas moved to India to set up his own business, The Ideas Exchange and has grown that over the years into one of leading business, events, consulting and research platforms in India focusing on three particular segments: beauty & wellness; healthcare design and legal. Within each segment, IDEX has managed to evolve market leading events which have helped contribute to the growth and development of each of the industries being served. He is driven by the desire to bring innovative and thought provoking debates to whichever industry he is serving.

Tarana Lalwani

Tarana Lalwani is a Director with InnoVen Capital where she heads sourcing and execution of venture debt transactions, as well as portfolio management. Prior to InnoVen she was a Principal at Seedfund. Tarana continues to be involved in the early stage space - mentoring and guiding founders on fundraising, strategy, and business development. Tarana holds an undergraduate degree from LaSalle University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School, USA

Pramod Rangarajan

Advisor
Pramod works as a consultant KPMG social service arm. He is a graduate from IIM Bangalore and IIT Hyderabad. Pramod’s passion for football along with a will to do something for the betterment of society brought him to OSCAR Foundation in 2013. Since then, as a pro-bono consultant, he has been helping OSCAR plan out new projects and improve existing activities such as marketing, fundraising, etc. Pramod also has strong industry experience having worked as Scientist at Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and subsequently as Procurement Officer at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

Rajmohan Amonkar

Advisor

Rajmohan Amonkar practices as a lawyer specialising in intellectual property and employment laws in India. An alumnus of St Xavier's College (Mumbai), his exposure to science and technology whilst pursuing his Masters in Biotechnology at Scotland enables him to deal with complicated technical and scientific issues peculiar to the domain of intellectual property. He has worked extensively on policy making in domains such as health, medicine, and human rights. He has taken up causes of public relevance. He is an advisor to UNITAID and WHO. Rajmohan is also the co- founder of healthcare firm Lyfgrid Healthcare Pvt Ltd having offices in California and Mumbai.

Rahul Agarwal

Rahul Agarwal is MD of Kool Ex Cold chain -- India’s fastest growing cold chain company with a pan India reach. Previously, associated with a trading house based out of Singapore where his focus areas included international trading, commodity trading, fundraising, hedging and shipping. Educated in Pune, Rahul also runs the family charitable trust that looks into helping underprivileged children lead a better life.

Kunal Agarwal

Kunal Agarwal is Director at Kool Ex Cold chain - India’s fastest growing cold chain company with a pan India reach. Kunal has started two professional football clubs and is also associated with GoSport Foundation, a not for profit platform for funding junior sporting talent in India.
Kunal is a Clark University (USA) alumni.

Dr. Shefalika Narain

Advisor
Dr. Shefalika Narain is an academic with more than 20 years of experience in research and teaching. She has contributed her research to organisations like IMF (International Monetary Fund) and held leadership roles in academic institutions in India. Currently she is serving as the Director of Institute of Research for Innovative Strategies (IRIS), Mumbai.

Kalyani Patnaik

Advisor
An educationist with 34 years of experience, Kalyani is Principal and Head of a leading school in Mumbai. A double post-graduate in Economics and Education from Delhi University, Kalyani has experience in improving the quality of education by providing instructional leadership on research-based reading programs, and fostering a safe environment conducive to learning.

Ashok Rathod

Founder Director
Born and brought up in Mumbai's Ambedkar Nagar slum, Ashok saw many children from his community leave education in pursuit of earning money. Some children even fell prey to drugs, gambling, and illegal activities. In his personal capacity, he discouraged many from taking such a route, but realised that this challenge was big and complex and required a unique approach. A staunch believer in the power of education, Ashok was inspired to start OSCAR Foundation despite his little means. Over the last ten years, Ashok has inspired over 7000 children from Mumbai's slums to complete their education. His unique approach of using Football as a tool to engage children towards education has won him many accolades. A recipient of many prestigious awards such as the CNN-IBN Real Hero Award, Ashok is also an Ashoka Youth Venture Fellow (2008) and has spoken at many international and national leadership forums on the cause of education.

Stuart Christie

Co-Founder
Stuart has over 15 years working in the Football for Good sector. He first came to know about OSCAR in 2009 when he met Ashok on a conflict resolution course in Jordan. Captivated by Ashok’s passion and desire to change his community through football, Stuart and his good friend Dan Lawson visited India in 2010 to set up and deliver OSCAR’s first young leaders training. Following the training, Stuart and Dan made a commitment to all the young leaders that they would continue to support the organisation. Since 2010, Stuart has worked closely with Ashok to help to develop the organisation in a variety of ways, such as: forming new strategic partnerships; applying for grant funding; developing OSCAR life skills curriculum; delivering staff or young leaders training; developing an organisational strategy; and setting up a UK arm to the charity.

Dr. Shilpi Sharma

Chief Operating Officer
Shilpi is an experienced Development Consultant with top-notch implementation and project management abilities. Her training as a researcher and experience as a social worker makes her a highly organized, methodical and skilled asset at not only managing high-performance teams but also understanding the deep rooted issues of society. She is a true believer in the efficacy of education and life long learning. She has a doctorate from the Columbia University School of Social Work, New York.

Elsa Varghese

Sr. Manager - Partnership Development
Elsa Varghese holds a Masters in Social Psychology from Mumbai University and an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from NMIMS University, Mumbai. Having started a string of internships right after her schooling years, she gained experience in various fields of social work. She has published a paper with the Emerald Emerging Markets Publishing House, UK on – ‘Empowering lives through football’. Her previous work experience as a Resource Mobilisation and Communications professional in grassroots organisations like Mumbai Mobile Creches and PRIDE India has honed her expertise. She spearheads the partnerships and sustainability efforts at OSCAR Foundation.

Priyank Chavan

Manager - Accounts
Priyank looks after Internal Control of Accounts and Finance, managing funds, preparing financial formats, internal auditing, and supports OSCAR Foundation in its financial decision making. Priyank believes in working hard and maintaining a positive outlook towards life. He feels that our personal growth is linked to the growth of the community around us and having a vision helps us. Priyank has worked with multi-nationals giants in the shipping industry and brings with him a lot of knowledge and experience in financial data management. Priyank holds a CA-Inter degree from ICAI, New Delhi.

Arvind Premanand

Manager - Communications
Arvind is a graduate in Sport Management from Loughborough University, UK. He specialises in community projects and mega events having worked closely on the 2016 Rio Olympic Games broadcast for the Indian subcontinent. An avid photographer, he has covered a number of stories through photos and videos and has had his work published with various collaborators.

At OSCAR, Arvind leads the Communications team and looks after the photography of programmes and events.

Sunita Rathod

Project Head
Sunita is passionate about providing support to OSCAR children. She plays a key role in managing OSCAR's Child Sponsorship Programme and supporting children during their international tours. Sunita uses her exceptional organisational skills to ensure all passports, visas, equipment and the travel itinerary is prepared for overseas tours. Sunita joined the OSCAR Foundation as a Computer Teacher in 2014. With the guidance of mentors at OSCAR she eventually went on to develop curriculum for English, Hindi, Mathematics, Marathi and Computer.
Sunita has an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from NMIMS (SVKM).

Simran

Gender Programme Manager

Simran leads the Gender Programme at OSCAR Foundation. She joined OSCAR after working with several grassroot organisations such as Parcham and Meljol while pursuing her masters in Women-Centred Practice from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She discovered her interest in the area while doing her research on sports and gender during her bachelors.
She was crucial in planning, designing and implementing safeguarding practices across the organisation for children as a safeguarding officer and helped launch the SHOR programme aimed at empowering very young adolescent girls. She also introduced innovative initiatives such as restorative circles for women at the workplace.
Through OSCAR Foundation, she has worked closely with renowned partners like streetfootballworld, PUKAR, CREA, Emerging Markets Foundation and 'Keeping Children Safe'.
She believes that projects for women and children would be most impactful when centred around them. Her core work and interest areas revolve around sexual reproductive health and rights, body and sexuality, intersectionality in gender. She continued to dwell deeper into her core areas through her dissertation on Dance, Caste and Sexuality: A study of women artists in Tamasha Theatre. Her love for gender studies compels her to keep introducing new ideas and initiatives at OSCAR.

Priyanka Kale

Executive - Young Leaders Programme
Priyanka has completed her bachelor’s degree in social work from Nirmala Niketan College followed by a masters degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences with specialization in Children and Family. She has worked with various non-profit organisations as a student social worker. Some of them include Pratham, Jagruti Kendra, YWCA, disaster risk reduction project & Akanksha Foundation.

She worked as a Facilitator in Naandi Foundation which involved working with Mumbai’s government schools & teachers very closely. In Setu Charitable Trust, she was engaged with Tata trust project named HAPPY project (Health Action programme for progress of youth) where she trained teachers & as well as children within various wards of Mumbai.

Currently, she helps lead the Young Leader programme in OSCAR where she works on identifying youth & organising various leadership & coaching skills training.

Govind Rathod

Executive - Young Leaders Programme
Govind assists in managing OSCAR’s flagship Young Leade’s Programme and supports in training Young Leaders across India. He has trained more than 450 youths in Maharashtra, Goa, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Karnataka. Govind believes that sports have the power to change lives and mindsets of people in the community. He has participated in many international forums including the Future Goal Forum (Brazil), Youth Leadership Programme (South Korea), Adidas Football Exchange Programme (Vietnam). Govind is an exceptional example of determination, grit, and strong leadership skills. Born in Mumbai’s Ambedkar Nagar slum, Govind had dropped out of school until he came in contact with OSCAR Foundation.

Sadhika Naik

Executive - Education Programme

Kumar Rathod

Executive - Football Programme

Kumar works as an Executive in the Football Program at OSCAR Foundation, Mumbai. His key responsibilities include mentoring, guiding and managing our on-ground associates and coaches in Mumbai and Karnataka. He spends a lot of time communicating, coaching and reviewing the work of the coaches on a daily basis. He also designs and leads this programme when OSCAR initiates engagements in different locations (Community, Partnership and School Project). He was part of the executive committee that designed S4D activities with the support of experts. His role is to not only be a team leader but also as a support structure for each member to develop and grow at OSCAR.

He is pursuing F. Y B. Com at Mumbai University and ‘D’ license Coaching 2016 (AIFF). He attained a Diploma in Sports Business Management organised by pyramid Sports, England. He has also attended various national and international trainings such as Manchester United Coaching Course 2017, Premier Skills Football Coaching Training – Phase- 1&2 (Kerala) 2015, International Grassroots Football Coach (Mumbai) -2014 (Coaches from Bayer Leverkusen and Queens Park Rangers). He also visited Spain and UK as a coach for visiting OSCAR teams.

Nathaniel Parker

We are proud to announce Nathaniel Parker as our very first Charity Ambassador. Nathaniel is an accomplished actor who has supported OSCAR’s work over the last six years. He is also an OSCAR child sponsor and hosted our team when they visited the UK.

Hal Cazalet

As an Opera Singer and Composer, Hal has appeared in most of the world's main opera houses. As a keen advocate of new works, he has toured the US and Europe with the american composer Philip Glass, and created many leading roles for productions in New York at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, and at London's, Wigmore Hall and Royal Opera House. Hal looks forward to the day when he can bring his new musical of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince to the Royal Opera House in Mumbai, and lead the OSCAR Foundation in musical workshops.

In 2016, Hal performed in From Baroque to Bollywood, a London concert in aid of the OSCAR Foundation, mounted by Alice Lewthwaite. It was at this concert that Hal met Ashok Rathod and their friendship was sealed. Hal's commitment to OSCAR continues to thrive, influenced in no small part by the passion and inspiration of Lucinda Sowerbutts and all that she gives to the Foundation.

Sarah Ritchie

Sarah is a graphic designer/art director for over 30 years. Having studied at Central St Martins (London) Sarah has worked for large corporate design companies followed by a two year trip travelling and working across the world, including India. On her return, Sarah set up a design company and worked with many high street brands including becoming creative director of Micro Scooters for over ten years. She now lives and works in West Sussex with her family and two dogs (one of which is crazy).

Sarah has been working with OSCAR creating campaigns for the last 2 years. She is utterly thrilled to be asked to become a Charity Ambassador and looks forward to helping the organisation as much as possible in the years to come.

She said, ``OSCAR changes youth and children’s lives, education and sport hand in hand, the success stories are proven and possibilities endless.``

Julian Sowerbutts

Julian Sowerbutts is the former director of The Renewable Design Co and long time supporter of OSCAR Foundation. Since 2015, Julian has supported the OSCAR programme in India and the UK, hosting three of our teams and accompanying our teams to the Donosti Cup in Spain and the Dana Cup in Denmark.

Julian also regularly visits our programmes in Mumbai and Karnataka and offers valuable feedback and guidance to our staff and beneficiaries. Julian has also actively raised funds for OSCAR for many years, embarking on a running challenge recently. He says, ``I have learnt so much from the OSCAR family and I never cease to be impressed by how hard the team works. It is an honour and privilege to be asked to be a Charity Ambassador. The future is bright.``

Monica Dabasia

Monica is a former city lawyer, who now works with her family running their London based property business. Monica met the OSCAR UK U14 boys’ team at her children’s school, Hall Grove in 2017. Listening to the OSCAR boys deliver a morning assembly inspired Monica to get involved. Monica, Hitesh and children Vilas and Tamira have held many fundraising appeals, including Hitesh running the Mumbai Half Marathon and Vilas and Tamira gathering friends to walk and run to raise funds. With the generous support of the family business the first ‘OSCAR Medical Centre’ opened in May 2021 in the Ambedkar Nagar community. The centre has paid an integral part in OSCAR’s emergency response to the pandemic, providing access to medical support and vaccine education. The entire OSCAR family has a debt of gratitude to Monica and her family and we are delighted she has agreed to be an OSCAR Ambassador.

Tom Taylor

Tom is an Economics student at The University of Edinburgh going into his second year of study. He has been a supporter of the OSCAR Foundation since 2019, when he first met the UK tour at Brighton College. Following that, he actively raised funds for OSCAR and continues to do so.

Tom has visited the programme in Mumbai, where he volunteered for a month in 2020, providing support to the Data team and coaches. Most recently, he did a 5-day mini triathlon in Edinburgh, to support the latest OSCAR initiatives. He said “The month of volunteering I had in Mumbai opened my eyes to the work OSCAR does on the ground and really inspired me to continue supporting this amazing charity. I immediately felt a part of the OSCAR family and am incredibly grateful to be a Charity Ambassador”

Ruby Sowerbutts

Ruby joined the OSCAR family in 2016 when she worked on the first UK tour. She published a very successful ‘Global Cook Book’ to raise funds and toured the UK with Ashok delivering assemblies in schools. Ruby was instrumental in launching and heading up the International Young Leader programme.

Ruby assisted on all three UK tours, speaking to over 10,000 pupils and worked with Ashok to deliver Geography lessons on life in the slums. In 2019 Ruby handled the logistics and team management for the Dana Cup OSCAR girls triumphant tour to Denmark.

Ruby has volunteered for OSCAR in Mumbai and Jharkhand many times. She loves OSCAR so much; she chose to celebrate her 21st birthday with her OSCAR family on a boat in the Bay of Mumbai.

Ruby is a Biology graduate from the University of Bristol and is embarking on a Master’s in Translational Cardiovascular Medicine.

Phoebe Mayhew

Phoebe is in her second year at the University of Bristol and studies History with Innovation. She was first introduced to OSCAR after hearing about the amazing success of the UK football tours and participated in our tour when the OSCAR boys team visited in 2019. She firmly believes and has supported our cause, even spending a month in Mumbai as a volunteer. She is inspired by the level of commitment shown by the organisation towards the girls and boys involved as well as the dedication of our beneficiaries and their families. She contributed in promoting of our Cityzens Giving campaign and participated in our high five for OSCAR campaign even signing up more volunteers! She is excited to be a Young Ambassador and is looking forward to contributing to OSCAR in the future.

Aanya Shah

Aanya Shah is a rising sophomore in high school. She has been with the OSCAR Family for a little over a year now and is happy to be a part of our efforts. She has done fundraisers in the past from biking 100 miles to selling chocolates at her school! She also assisted her dad in hosting an event where all the proceeds went to funding a pizza party for children at OSCAR Foundation! She enjoyed these activities and is happy to see the money benefitting children in India. Additionally, she has recently been working on a project to spread word about OSCAR and raise awareness on child protection. She is working on creating a podcast by interviewing members of the OSCAR Foundation.

As India is her ancestral home, the children at OSCAR will always hold a special place in her heart and she looks forward to making more memories with the OSCAR family.

Katinka Hughes

Tinka, 20 years old, is in her second year at The University of Edinburgh, studying sport science. She plays for the university hockey team and keeps team spirit up with her positive energy that we got to know so well.

She took a gap year before university and after her month in Mumbai working with the OSCAR foundation, which she has described as ‘the most incredible and eye opening experience’, Tinka has chosen to become a young ambassador for the charity.

She did a lot of work with the nursery and enjoyed teaching the children games and songs that they could take with them as they grow up. Tinka and her dad, Olly, ran 80km in 2 days along the Thames path back in 2019 before she went out to Mumbai and then completed a mini triathlon in 2020 with Tom Taylor, another young ambassador, raising funds for OSCAR during extremely hard times of COVID. She also said ‘I will never forget how the oscar family took me under their wing and i felt comfortable straight away, making life long friends who made my time at OSCAR unforgettable’

Lottie Jordan

Lottie is just starting year 10 at Marlborough College. She is also an avid fencer, competing in regions all across the country and the world! She first discovered OSCAR after hearing about the charity's visit to Marlborough to play football against the school. After that, she engaged in fundraising throughout the Easter holidays by running round her village!

She is passionate about everyone having the chance to an education and loves OSCAR’s unique approach to giving kids a better chance in life, as well as the fun of football! She hopes to continue helping in the future and aid OSCAR’s mission.

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