Sr No. 191
The (cute) little live-dynamite stick!
Shravani Gore (6)
Shravani studies at a BMC school in in Chembur. She resides at a slum at Vashi Naka, near Chembur, with her two sisters and parents. Shavani’s mother works as a sweeper at the BMC school in which Shravani and her two sisters study.
As for her father…. Hmmmm I rather remain silent. Her mother is the sole bread earner in the family, I think.
Shravani has an elder sister and a younger one; all three sisters are learning Taekwondo from Coach Jaydeep who runs Taekwondo classes in a slum near Chembur since three years.
(You can read about her Coach Jaydeep Kadam’s Taekwondo initiative, for less privileged children, in the Mumbai Mirror feature by Rahi Gaikwad that I’ve posted in the comments below.)
Shravani is learning Taekwondo, a martial art skill which I feel, will transform her from being ‘just a kid’ or ‘just a girl’ (for some people) to someone who will most likely be able to take care of herself, and or help someone else too, someday. I hope she never faces such a situation.
If someone thinks little girls like Shravani belong to a ‘weaker sex’, see her on the Taekwondo floor. She has lately won 3 Gold medals and 1 Bronze, at age 6, in Taekwondo! For me Shravani’s a lit dynamite stick on the martial arts floor!
What makes Taekwondo so special? It’s philosophies, alongside self-defence, hoped to inculcate in the learner: Courtesy, Perseverance, Self-control, Indomitable spirit; “I shall never misuse taekwondo, I shall be a champion of freedom and justice for others.”
I asked her Coach Jaydeep if Taekwondo really helps these kids protect themselves? …
He replied, “…. Last year, during a street festival, a boy twice the size of one of my teen students teased her & ‘abused’ her on the crowded street, in public; she walloped the pervert then and there, she brought him to the ground on his knees in a few seconds/and quick moves, in public, and made him apologise to her, in public!”
Hahahahahahahah! I think that pervert won’t ever think that young seemingly ‘skinny’ teens are easy-target and they won’t kick ass when they must!!
Coach Jaydeep told me he teaches boys and girls. Curious being that I am, I asked him …. “What’s the main difference between teaching Taekwondo to boys and girls, or on the learning front?
Coach Jaydeep replied, “… not much really, boys and girls are equally good at it, however, (Ponders) on the ‘learning’ front, the girls are better. (Ponders) I think, they are better ‘listeners’ than the boys.
The boys obey and respect us (instructors) as much as the girls do, but, the girls ‘listen’ better and thus they understand what is needed from them better; I think, the girls are less distracted than the boys ….
And this quality in them, at least amongst my girl students, makes them more focused to the task at hand so they get the moves correct much faster than the boys.”
Clap clap clap! Three cheers to the girls! )) They listen, and not just hear.
My friends collected a small amount of money to buy Shravani a brand new set of ‘protection gear’. (She is seen wearing her new set in the video I have posted below.) For us, the most deserving thing about Shravani is, she won the championships (3 Golds and 1 Bronze) without owning a set! She deserved to be encouraged.
I must add, I had told coach Jaydeep that I want to meet Shravani and her mother at any coffee shop near their house, as she is six years young; and so on a Saturday I travelled to the Barista in Chembur (opposite Diamond Garden) to meet them. We bought Shravani and her co student cupcakes. After we walked out of the Barista, the Coach’s entire class was there to meet me!
The students wanted to surprise me! They insisted they too want to come along! Their affection for us, donors, moved me to happy tears. They were so happy that someone wanted to help their youngest champion! This time I wanted to take a photo with them, even though I have never ever taken a photo with any of our past 190 beneficiaries. I wanted to make them feel we donors are just one of them. I told them I will blog about their dedicated coach and them. Love to them.
There has never been a moment in these past 191 donations when the beneficiaries have not filled my heart with GRATITUDE and LOVE.
(Thank you Mumbai Mirror journo Rahi Gaikwad firstname.lastname@example.org for featuring these most deserving kids, and an equally proud and deserving Coach Jaydeep Kadam. We found one more soul we could help in our tiny way.
You may view the video clip posted below of Shravani demonstrating some moves; watch it till the end (it’s 34 seconds short), and I think it may warm your heart. Well, it surely warmed mine, and made a smile escape from my heart and travel straight to my face to infect the night sky with twinkling stars.
Thank you Amrita Divay, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Ayesha Parikh, Sushrut Mankad, Paul Macker for contributing money for the Taekwondo set for our little live-dynamite. A picture of the set is posted below. 🙂
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Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1