I have been playing cricket from the age of 12. But like most families, playing was something that was discouraged and only studying was given importance. When I was 17, I took a gap year to give my all to the dream of being a cricketer. This decision strained my relationship with my parents and I had to leave behind my dream after a back injury. Still, I owe much of who I am to sports. The idea for Pahadi Khiladi was born out of this belief. That youth need to run, leap, strategize, defend, fall and take risks on the playfield if they are to do the same in life.
With a 2-year budget estimate of ₹8,61,000, Pahadi Khiladi will set up an Indoor Sports Centre and an Outdoor Sports Club to change lives through sport. We are already organising programmes, tournaments and mentoring to help youth learn key life skills and convert their biggest challenge into a strength – growing up in mountain villages.
The program is led by HaiJalo, a Champawat based community group that demonstrates local action for local issues.
Budget including set-up and 2 years operational costs ₹8,61,000
Infrastructure - Rent, Interiors, Furniture ₹2,90,000
Salary (2 full-time staff to manage, coach & organise) ₹4,80,000
The programme will be implemented by two full time staff devoted to coaching teams, organising sporting events and operating the Indoor Games Centre.
When I came to Champawat to intern with HaiJalo, I observed that local people have acquired a high level of fitness just by doing their day-to-day activities. You and I might venture on a trek with trekking sticks and special shoes. Pahadis ascend the steepest slopes in a pair of slippers with the ease of mountain goats. They climb the tallest Deodar tree so swiftly that it makes your jaw drop with wonder.
They were born to excel in sports! Yet, in the absence of sporting and cultural facilities in public and educational spaces, the only outlet youth find for play and competition are violent mobile games. The pressure for career success is more severe for rural youth. They are in competition with urban youth, however without the right guidance, infrastructure and opportunities-this competition is unfair and THEY KNOW IT! The result is lack of confidence and ambition, no outlet for pent up emotions, no room for expression.
My school and college were both co-ed and seeing girls participate in sports was normal for me. Girls in Champawat are tied down with household chores and marry soon after turning 18. Sport is a luxury that Pahadi women can’t afford, even in their teen years.
Through sports, we will focus on building physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills in youth, hold a safe space, especially for children and girls, to express themselves freely, and subtly address century-old societal norms.
Our Indoor Sports Center will be a haven for youth to take a break from constant academic stress and spaces where they are instructed, directed and rarely heard or partnered. Can you picture children, teenagers, even parents and grandparents bonding over board games or carrom, learning that fairness comes from the rules being the same for all? Playing games which require planning, logic and problem solving will help sharpen their cognitive skills.
At the Outdoor Sports Club, we will organize mix-gender tournaments (netball, throwball, traditional games like kho-kho), separate tournaments for girls (football, volleyball, cricket) and games for Pahadi women in the 25+ age group. These activities will not only help in the physical development of the individual but will also help to bring the community together. Sport is for everyone!
Some of the youth and kids here are very skilled in sports like volleyball or cricket. As I am well versed with the nuances of cricket, we will provide cricket coaching to girls and boys. Proper exposure will be given to the ones who do well in training. You never know, the next Virat Kohli might come from Champawat!!!!!!
List of activities/sports we are planning at Pahadi Khiladi.
PAHADI KHILADI LIST OF GAMES/ACTIVITIES
List of skills that we are aiming to impart through sports and play.
PAHADI KHILADI LIST OF SKILLS
Note: To make the center self-sustainable gradually, a nominal chargeable membership will be provided to members. This is to create co-ownership and to discourage the expectation of free services.
The center will also include a room and a basic cafe which can be rented out to create a source of income over time.
(The Café will not serve any processed and packaged snacks, alcoholic beverages, or unhealthy foods).
Rent for indoor space
2 staff members for managing the center
Furniture (upcycled furniture will be preferred)
Repairs and renovations
Material for Cafe
TOTAL for Infrastructure
Chess board and pieces
Board (full size 35 inches) and coins
Ball (cosco & leather)
2 & 12
Ball (size 7, 5 & 3)
12 (2 packet)
Bag (4 feet)
Fitness & drill
Cones & markers
Tambola, Scrabble, Snakes and ladders, Ludo, etc.
Pictionary & other related games
TOTAL for Equipment
CONTINGENCY PLAN: ₹ 41,000
ESTIMATED STARTUP BUDGET = INFRASTRUCTURE COST + EQUIPMENT COST + CONTINGENCY PLAN = ₹ 8,61,000
HaiJalo is an unregistered, volunteer and community action group in Champawat. HaiJalo is a Pahadi phrase meaning ‘It shall happen’. We are taking steps to resolve local societal and environmental issues while shaping the world around us through kindness, understanding, and the power of volunteering. Our other projects include RukhThokko which will be a 3 month fellowship for youth of Champawat, awareness and action on waste management and menstrual health and hygiene.
Check us out on Facebook.