Jaydeep Kadam, who was raised in a slum, is helping poor kids set bigger goals in life by teaching them Taekwondo for free.
Jaydeep Kadam, who grew up in a Chembur slum in the nineties, knows too well how lack of opportunities shackles the future of scores of poor children. The 31-year-old Taekwondo coach is on a mission to ensure children from such struggling communities are not left behind.
“I have experienced the hardships of a life in slums. There is a big difference between children from slums and those from the town," he said. “Anyone can make money, but I wanted to do something different for these children. Learning and mastering Taekwondo can instil discipline in them and open up opportunities.They can apply for admission to colleges or seek a job in sports quota."
Kadam divides his time between working as a part-time Taekwondo coach at an international school, as a clerk at the Taekwondo Association of Maharashtra and mentoring the city's disadvantaged children. “Their parents work as domestic help or as painting masons. Some of the kids also do odd jobs such as cleaning cars, but they still make it for the class," he said.
Jaydeep is now teaching more than 200 children from three BMC schools. Most of them are shining at district and state-level competitions which, apart from securing them a government job, also boosts their self-esteem.
He aims to train some of these kids and take them to national and International championships. For that he requires funds to develop the overall infrastructure of the sport in the slums, provide them with better equipments, money to enter into competitions, for their dietary requirements and travel costs.