By Nyamat Bindra, Director, Education, Real Medicine Foundation, India
How to make the children not get bored in the summer? How can I make them enjoy staying at school? What can I make them do that is new, exciting, cost effective and something that the children would learn new skills from? What could it be …. Then it struck me! The one thing that Indians love…. Cricket!
I decided to organize a camp for the boys at school and art class for the girls!
Our school boys would play cricket the minute they got a chance, so I got in touch with a cricket coach I met earlier and asked if he could help me. Mr Ajij Sheikh said that they were conducting a month long camp at the nearby college ground, free of charge, everyday 8am to 10am and 4pm to 6pm for interested cricket enthusiasts! He asked me if we would like to send some of our students. I told him that I could get 10 boys. When I made the announcement to the boys at school, 20, class 6th to 9th graders enrolled! I knew I had struck the right chord with them!
Every day, for the following month, the boys would go for a run in the morning and train in the afternoon, under a team of 5 coaches. They would get free breakfast, which consisted of an egg and a glass of milk in the morning and a banana in the afternoon. All 20, braced themselves for a new challenge!
Caitlin asked them on day 2, so `will you be able to keep up and be ready to be on the ground at 8 am? Jointly, they replied `Yes!’ `We don’t want to be punished by Mr. Shiekh and take extra rounds of the field’.
Our 20 players of TEAM BHIL, needed track pants, shoes, caps, and cricket gear. Caitlin’s father and our volunteer Carolina graciously donated money for that.
The boys learnt and practiced how to be fit, how to increase their stamina through regular runs, stretches and eat the right diet.
In the cricket camp the boys learnt the techniques behind batting, bowling and fielding and other nuances behind playing the game the right way such as pitching a leather ball! 3 of our boys were even selected for a tournament in Dahod and represented team Jhabua.
They learnt a new skill, met new people, made friends with other students from different schools and learnt true sportsmanship spirit.
My goal was achieved!
To keep the girls from class 6th to 9th, I organized stitching, needlework, working with beads and art class, which they enjoyed thoroughly under the guidance of our wardens Nirmala and Pushpa.
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