On 17 June, 7 girls from Apnalaya’s Khula Aasmaan programme played and trained with the U Mumba Kabaddi players at a training camp in Nashik.
Supported by the Australian Consulate-General of Mumbai under their Direct Aid Program, this camp was a fabulous experience for the Kabaddi Queens of Shivaji Nagar.
“In those three days we gained confidence on how to play and we learnt a balanced diet and ways of keeping ourselves fit,” said Nazma.
Each girl took away valuable lessons. For one, it was the experience of team building and information on fitness and balance, while for another it was the ‘comedy’ time with the trainers that made the Kabaddi training camp so memorable.
Apnalaya seeks to address high rates of school dropouts in Shivaji Nagar and lack of access to public spaces for girls through our Khula Aasmaan programme wherein adolescent girls play Kabaddi as they break gender barriers and reclaim public spaces.
Most girls in the programme had stepped onto the playground for the first time in their lives through Khula Aasmaan. What would be taken for granted in a privileged child’s daily routine is a huge struggle for these girls. Despite several cultural and religious obstacles, 432 adolescent girls over the last three years have been part of this programme.
“The denial of access to a playground is the denial of a right to childhood. In the case of girls, this invariably results in banishing them from public life itself. Through Kabaddi, Apnalaya brings the girls out from the shadows, to the open skies of opportunities and possibilities,” said Arun Kumar, CEO of Apnalaya.