Empowering 25 Million Youth: STAIRS Foundation Champions Talent and Advocates for Sports for All

STAIRS believes in the simple yet profound truth: every child deserves an opportunity to play, learn, and dream. It's a mantra woven into the very fabric of its existence, guiding and fueling every initiative. STAIRS Foundation was founded on the principles of inclusivity, empowerment, and community engagement with roots tracing back to 1999 when they recognized the transformative potential of sports in uplifting disadvantaged communities. With a mission to create a level playing field for all, STAIRS aims to nurture young talents and advocate for sports as a viable career path, aiming to bring about positive change in marginalized communities across India.

Over two decades, its relentless commitment and pioneering initiatives, such as Khelo India and the STAIRS School Football League (SSFL), have garnered accolades, including consecutive wins of the Best NGO in Sports award by FICCI and the National Award for "Identification and Nurturing of Budding/Young Talent in India." Recognized as a National Sports Promotion Organization by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, it reshapes the landscape of grassroots sports development. In 2023, the organization unveiled a transformative 20-year plan, exemplified by initiatives like One India One Goal(EK BHARAT EK LAKSHYA), solidifying its commitment to driving positive societal change through sports. Aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, it remains steadfast in addressing critical societal challenges and has evolved into a dynamic force for positive change, leaving a lasting imprint on the lives of underprivileged youth throughout India. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, it has amplified the reach and impact of its initiatives, marking just the beginning of its collective pursuit of excellence and social progress, with over 25 million children having benefited from its programs to date.

The genesis of STAIRS is equally inspiring, rooted in the vision and determination of its founder. Coming from a background that is a testament to overcoming challenges through perseverance and a deep belief in the transformative power of sports, Siddhartha Upadhyay’s journey from an aspiring athlete to a social entrepreneur is a narrative of inspiration and hope. This story not only highlights the power of individual will but also the impact of sports as a universal language of motivation and growth.

The "One India One Goal" program embodies a narrative of sports, passion, and realized dreams, aiming to provide opportunities for underprivileged youth with governmental backing and strategic alliances. This innovative endeavor adopts a comprehensive approach to grassroots sports development, emphasizing inclusivity, talent nurturing, and holistic education. Through this program, STAIRS has not only discovered hidden talents but also instilled values of discipline, teamwork, and resilience. Carefully designed to reach disadvantaged youth nationwide, it offers a platform for skill display, quality training, and invaluable life lessons through sports, empowering them to pursue their aspirations despite obstacles.

Looking ahead, STAIRS envisions a future where every child in India has access to quality sports training and educational opportunities. STAIRS Foundation is setting its sights on expanding its outreach, aiming to empower even more youth through sports. Their future goal is not just about promoting sports but also ensuring that these activities contribute to the broader SDGs such as good health, quality education, and reduced inequalities. By focusing on these areas, STAIRS is committed to creating a more inclusive, healthy, and educated world, one player at a time.