International Chess Federation
Thursday, 15 Feb 2024 09:34
FIDE delegation visits headquarters of IndianOil Corporation

The delegation of FIDE, headed by President Arkady Dvorkovich, and chess legends Viswanathan Anand and Judit Polgar visited the headquarters of IndianOil Corporation in New Dehli to meet with the Chairman of the company, Mr Shrikant Madhav Vaidya and the company's personnel.

In addition to those present at the meeting, 30,000 IndianOil employees were following the event online.

Chairman of IndianOil, Mr Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, has received the 'Friend of FIDE' award, a prestigious FIDE award given to individuals and companies who have made a substantial contribution to promoting chess in the world. FIDE believes that with programs like "Parivartan – Prison to Pride", the company is reshaping lives, building a society where every pawn has the chance to become a king. The enduring partnership of IndianOil and FIDE embodies the commitment to this noble mission.

IndianOil Corporation is the largest oil refiner and fuel retailer in the country. In 2021, the company launched the "Parivartan – Prison to Pride" social responsibility project. The initiative aims to engage and rehabilitate prison inmates nationwide through sports coaching programs. The Parivartan chess courses are supervised by experienced coaches, including GMs Abhijit Kunte and Surya Sekhar Ganguly, WGMs Eesha Karavade, Soumya Swaminathan, Padmini Rout, to name a few.

Mr Vaidya highlighted the program's role in supporting the transition of individuals back to community life: "Embodying our core value of Care, 'Parivartan' has reached out to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable section of society. Going beyond the physical and mental well-being, it aims for a positive transformation in the lives of prison inmates through sports. In fact, the various global recognitions we have received so far for this endeavour strengthen our resolve to push the envelope further to make a tangible impact."

The Parivartan project now covers 128 prisons in India in 22 states and 6 Union Territories of the country, with coaching over 6300 inmates.

During the meeting, it was announced that the second in-person Chess for Freedom Conference would take place in India in May 2024. The event will feature many experts from the worldwide chess community who will take the stage to introduce concepts and approaches to using chess as a rehabilitation tool for incarcerated people. The inaugural edition of the event was held in Chicago, USA, in the spring of 2023.