2017 U17 World Cup

Fifa U-17 World Cup: Paraguay lay down marker after topping Group B with three successive wins

The South American outfit beat Turkey 3-1 in their final encounter at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.

Navi Mumbai: Any world football tournament is never bereft of an obsession over Brazil, Argentina and the top European outfits. With the absence of the La Albiceleste at the Fifa U-17 World Cup, one would have expected a little more focus on the others.

While Indian football fans are rightly tuned into the rise and fall of their own team, most football fans would understandably remain transfixed on the Samba boys as well as those from the European continent. Somewhere in this milieu lies a window for all other sides to make their mark and shine. At the very top of this final category sits Paraguay, who have been the to beat at least in Group B. The team has quietly piled on the goals and have looked deadly while doing so.

Clubbed with low-profile teams like Mali, New Zealand and Turkey, Group B has not enjoyed intense fan focus as some of the other groups in the competition. Paraguay, though, has managed to wow the sparse crowd that makes its way to Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium on each match-day.

On Thursday, the South American side produced another clinical performance as they registered their third straight win as they quelled the slim chance Turkey harboured of making it to the pre-quarterfinals. Gustavi Morinigo’s team, who had already secured their progress into the round of 16, registered a 3-1 victory and their the preliminary round by sitting atop the Group B table.

Paraguay owe much of their success so far in the tournament to their its talismanic forward Leonardo Sanchez. The former was given a breather against Turkey. But, Paraguay’s deep bench strength was on full display.

They were all over the Turkish players right from kick-off. Forward Blas Armoa won his side a penalty after being felled by Turkey defender Abdussamed Karnucu. Vega, though, could not add to his tally as goal-keeper Berke Ozer guessed the right way.

Despite Sanchez’s absence and Vega’s failure to fire early in, Paraguay were hardly worse for wear. They had a number of shots on goal and found the back of the net in 41st minute as midfielder Giovanni Bogado converted through a fine freekick from the edge of the box.

Forward Fernando Cardoza doubled the lead two minutes later after he pounced on a ball from Blas Armoa to put his side in a commanding position. Paraguay would add to their tally in the second half after forward Antonio Galeano put the ball past Ozer after a lucky deflection.

In terms of possession, Turkey dominated proceedings after enjoying 60 % of the ball through the game. But, it is goals that win games and Turkey struggled to find the back of the net. They did pull one back in stoppage time through Kerem Kesgin but it was too little, too late.

Paraguay will go into their pre-quarterfinals having won all their group games. The impervious form will come under stiff examination when they enter the knockout stage. Meanwhile, in another Group B encounter in New Delhi, Mali registered a 3-1 win over New Zealand to secure safe passage into the round of 16.

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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.


During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.