"The Chance Of A Second Innings": Eradication Of Blindness To Be Charitable Theme

During the Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation Executive Committee meeting of in Durban last month, a broad-based theme for their charitable donations was chosen.

“It was always our intention to make a meaningful and significant contribution to a worthwhile charity as a result of all the revenues raised from the staging of the Standard Chartered Afro-Asia Cup. We deliberated long and hard over the matter and found it best to choose a platform that will span activities across Africa and Asia,” said Jagmohan Dalmiya, Chairman of Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation.

10% of the net revenues of the 2005 Standard Chartered Afro-Asia Cup is earmarked for the eradication of blindness on these continents.

Peter Chingoka, Vice-Chairman of Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation said, “The ability to see is a fundamental aspect of existence and yet many millions, young and old, through disease, poverty or malnutrition are afflicted by blindness. Throughout Africa and Asia from north to south, east to west, millions are suffering. In many cases it is a preventable problem. We expect our contribution to make a difference.”

The Committee felt that with so many worthy initiatives and charitable organizations across both continents it would be inappropriate to single out merely one or two. River blindness for example is a disease prevalent throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 11,000,000 people in the Indian sub-continent have treatable conditions for blindness.

“The problem is there. We are offering a solution,” said Mr. Dalmiya. “We have a high-profile tournament with high-profile players. It is only fitting that our charitable cause should also have a high impact.”

The Executive Committee confirmed that once the 2005 Standard Chartered Afro-Asia Cup is completed and accounts are audited, they will start to disburse the funds.

“This Event was set up quickly through the good-will of many, we will ensure that all their efforts result in hundreds of thousands of the blind given a chance of a second innings with their eyesight,” affirmed Mr. Chingoka.

Filed September 07 2005