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  • Writer's picturePrasun Garg

Sun is rising, you can make it shine

Most mornings, if you go to DDA sports complex located next to Delhi Jal Board in B-7, Vasant Kunj, you will be mesmerised. And it is not only the variety of flowers, but also the sports activities that will welcome you. The most beautiful scene, however, is boys and girls of different ages, at times more than a hundred, galloping and falling, and throwing themselves at an oval ball. No, they are not fighting, they are playing Rugby.

Here’s how I got involved with it. I had joined my football classes at this ground last year. That was when I met these children, some of my age, in early teens. As football and Rugby were happening side by side, I made friends with a couple of them, and I found that most of these kids come from JJ Bandhu camp located next to B-5 & 6.

I was enamoured by the strength and lithe of these boys and girls, and the commitment with which they threw themselves at tackle bags and crash mats, as if they had no fear. Talking to them, I also figured out that their parents struggled to provide them three square meals a day, forget about any special diet, as their parents mostly work as labourers or household helpers in adjoining sectors. I am intrigued still to figure out the source of nutrition for their mental toughness and muscular strength. Could it be the resolve to fight out of their miseries, I am yet to find out.

Their sports coaching is being arranged by Arth foundation, run by Ms. Neelam Sood. She has also set up a facility next to JJ Bandhu camp for helping these kids get education, with help from Ms. Madhu Suri of Udaan Foundation, an educationist working with underprivileged kids, defying her age at 71 years. While it sounded good, I quickly realised that the learning of these kids needed more.

That’s when I decided to get involved. I discussed it with my father and chose to setup a Computer Lab at the learning facility created by Arth Foundation. We set up 10 computers there a few months back and I along with my father have been running an English speaking and basic computer skills course for these kids. The lab is open the entire day to these kids to come and learn on their own beyond what they are taught. The commitment shown by most of these kids towards learning has been a revelation and the progress has been steady

With my school reopening in July, and my class 10 curriculum keeping me busy, I find it tough to take classes myself. I, therefore, prepare the study plan for these kids and my father conducts the classes depending time availability. What we need is more volunteers who can help take English and Computer classes in the evening. To make this experiment work consistently, we also need more resources. You can support me in this initiative by contributing your time, money or any other resource that can help my friends there to learn better while excelling in sports.

As I write this, a heart-warming news has come in. 5 kids from this group, 2 boys and 3 girls, have been selected to play for India in U20 Rugby team. And this news is inspiring 100s of other kids of all ages from this JJ Bandhu camp to live a better life by excelling in sports.

Hope to see many of you at Arth foundation Learning Center, opposite Arya Samaj Mandir, B-5 & 6, to meet my friends. Contributing to the welfare of these children is the best decision, you could take today. And I will make sure that I keep sharing our progress report with you on these pages regularly.

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