It’s Not All About Notebooks! UPAY Awakens The Hidden Athletes

 In a nation of 1.3 billion dreams, a large number go unrealized due to lack of opportunities. Providing one such golden chance, UPAY helped its underprivileged students to depict their sporting talent in a friendly event conducted within Gurgaon, titled Khel Yatra.
Kuch Kariye
Bend It Like Beckham

On a humid sunny morning of 28th August 2017, the kids of our NGO marched enthusiastically to ‘Bend it like Beckham’ on the football field. Conducted at the sports complex of Ansal University, the five-on-a-side soccer tournament involved the participation of 8-12 year old children with teams from 16 leading NGOs within Delhi & NCR region.

Being voluntarily approached by an organization named Jyoti Yatra for their second event (the first was held in April 2017), underlines UPAY’s acceptance as a significant contributor towards the cause of support for the underprivileged. It was our children’s first ever exposure to such an event. For them, it signified a big transition from their chaotic neighbourhoods to a well arranged sports event.

AaDekheinZara
Aa Dekhein Zara…

The short but sweet journey began with practice in a coarse temple courtyard (UPAY Sikanderpur Centre) that is also utilized for our weekend classes. As they say, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’, our volunteers left no stone unturned to get the children to hone their skills in a setting that could even remotely resemble a sports ground. Considering Gurgaon is an urbane, concrete jungle, managing access to open spaces is itself a feat. Not only this, UPAY also faced the daunting task of convincing the parents of participating children and establishing their trust to let us handle the responsibility of their kids was an achievement in itself. Several practice sessions held at available venues were tutored by Ravi, Ayush and Ashish.

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Baar Baar Haan Bolo Yaar Haan

Finally, when the day arrived, our team of 9 children (Bijoy, Sikander, Neha, Vishakha, Anshika, Neha, Sikander, Farrukh and Jumer) strode in confidence to wage their battle. A notable participation from girls, who themselves volunteered, was motivating. While India’s another daughter PV Sindhu was crusading on the badminton court, our girls displayed ample talent here on the field. Our team played three enjoyable matches with more skilled teams, bringing the first to a draw, which is a victory of its own considering lack of prior experience and constrained facilities during practice for them. Their thirst for knowledge was evident in the way they sportingly absorbed the rules of the game and techniques by observing and communicating with their counterparts.

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Yahan Ke Hum SIkander!

Varun Shrivastava, our Founder, who is based in Nagpur, visited the premises to support and motivate the children to give it their best shot. Successfully coordinated by Aishwarya, the event saw the presence of our energetic volunteers, Akanksha (who was also accompanied by her husband, Manoranjan), Akhil, Ayush, Mukesh, Harsha, Mithila and Lekha.

It is often said that certain things are understood better once experienced and UPAY sincerely hopes that this event gives more clarity to the vision of little dreams that may have been limited until now by the lack of an actual experience!

– By Jasmine Kalsi

chak De
Chak De UPAY!!!

 

 

 

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Rakhi making workshop for our creative kids @ Sohna Road, Gurgaon

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Rakhi making workshop organised by Khushiyan – Connecting Helping Hands at UPAY’s Sohna Road Center in Gurgaon

This Rakshabandhan, UPAY joined hands with Khushiyan – Connecting Helping Hands to hold a Rakhi making workshop at UPAY’s Sohna Road centre. The children were treated to a special class where they learned how to make rakhis. This idea was formulated by Rohit Gupta, Khushiyan President. The objective of this workshop was to engage the children in an activity that would encourage their individuality through a structured project that is fun for the children. The children had an opportunity to exercise their creativity as they made colorful and quirky rakhis, with the help and guidance of Khushiyan and UPAY volunteers.

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Engaged in making beautiful Rakhi

Khushiyan brought materials and over fifty children were divided into groups. They made beautiful rakhis, and visibly enjoyed the activity. “They were happy and excited,” says Shivani, an UPAY volunteer. “Every child is gifted. Through such workshops, they receive the opportunity to showcase their talent.”

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Creativity Unleashed

Anshul Gaur, UPAY’s Gurgaon operations Head said, “Such workshops are important for children as they provide a break in the normal, everyday studying. Extra-curriculars that promote not only the creativity of children but also such festivals greatly contribute to the child’s development. And of course, the children thoroughly enjoy it!”

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Press Coverage

Though this was Khushiyan’s first workshop with us, they have donated stationery at UPAY centres in the past. Given the fruitful experience that both the our volunteers and the children had, we hope to conduct many more such activities in the future. Apart from our Reach and Teach classes, it’s great to give the children an opportunity to learn other skills in an interactive and engaging manner! Happy Rakshabandhan!

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