The Right Pitch Season 2! -a Teach For India initiative. Inspiring young minds through cri-cket.

Teach for India is an organisation that believes in giving all children an excellent education. I'm pursuing my fellowship with them, at a school in Govandi, Mumbai, called Ja'fari English High School. I teach Social Science to 138 children of Standard 9. My students come from a community where violence is high. They come from a community where there is a lot of gender discrimination. They have no exposure to the world outside Govandi.
I thought about how I could try to change this. I thought about what made me who I am today. The answer was very simple- sports. Students can embody and showcase the values of Grit, Teamwork and Respect through sports

There are very few constructive things that our kids have been doing on their own- one of them is playing cricket. Thus, to polish this inherent talent and to give it a new dimension of competitive spirit is why we have-

Just to give you an example of how it promoted values and mindsets, access and exposure in my class:-

I received a text from one of my students Kasim after a practice session last year which goes like this- "Hi Sir, please can you give me feedback on my batting and bowling. Strengths and weakness. What I have to learn and what I'm good at. How is my captaincy? Am I good enough to come in the final playing team? Please tell me all this very clearly."
Also values like team-work, hard-work, grit, respect and self-control got re-iterated again and again through the entire duration of training and the tournament.
Since, the tournament has mixed gender teams, it empowered my girls a lot. Last year one of my girls, Shofiya was the captain and another one, Taskin opened the batting.

This would be the second edition for the tournament and we plan to conduct training sessions by professional coaches this time. And if we manage to source funds, we also have plans to take the kids to Ranji and Kanga league matches, where they can watch domestic players in List A matches.

So, getting to details:


All TFI teachers try to develop skills in their kids which could help those kids become better. For once, there is an opportunity to do something that THE KIDS want to do.
And more importantly, so that our students can embody and showcase the values of Grit, Teamwork and Respect through sports.
Kids warming up before a match
A Cricket tournament with league matches being played leading to quarters, semis and finals for all TFI schools across Mumbai.
Team Restrictions:-
  • Each team will consist of 11 players
    • 8 playing members - with minimum 2 boys and 2 girls
    • 3 substitutes - with minimum 1 boy and 1 girl
There will be three categories of teams:
Junior- Grades 4 and 5
Senior- Grades 6 and 7
Super Senior- Grades 8 and 9

Girls at par with boysTime: 6th February 2016 - 7th March 2016

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30th April 2016
Dear Supporters,

I am Ibrahim, a Milaap Open Fellow in Mumbai. I recently visited the Ja’fari English High School where Subhankar and his co-fellows teach as part of their Teach For India Fellowship. The school is located in Govandi and most of its students live very near the Deonar Dumping Ground. This ground has been a centre of controversy and has recently been in highlight because of the fires that had caused high levels of smog and pollution in nearby areas.

While talking with Subhankar, I came to know that, as a part of their fellowship, they are required to identify problems in the community they teach. “The major problem we noticed was that the kids had no proper recreational space for any activity that they could do in their free time. Mostly they would just run around purposelessly and hang out with elder kids, eventually getting into bad company of sorts and adopting bad habits,” Subhankar said.

To tackle this, the first thing that Subhankar and his team did was to take the kids to outings where they could be physically active and play a sport in an organised manner. During that time, they also tried to teach values of teamwork and respect to the students. “More importantly, they stayed away from bad influences,” Subhankar said.

Also, gender-based discrimination was quite prevalent in the community. Girls, after the age of 12, weren’t allowed to venture out alone, without a male member of the family accompanying them. So, they were deprived of any kind of physical activity, let alone be allowed to partake in proper sports.

The Right Pitch, a cricket tournament in which all schools of TFI in Mumbai participated, had a rule wherein minimum three girls had to be a part of the team. To prepare for this tournament, Subhankar sought for a proper training for the students. The training was eight weeks long where boys and girls from different classes practised together.

Subhankar’s team was a runner-up in the tournament. The team along with the fellows paraded throughout the society with the trophy being flaunted to each of the team member’s families. The parents felt really proud of their kids’ achievement.

I spoke with Qasim, captain of the senior team. He was the same kid who had sent the text message to Subhankar, asking him how he could improve. Generally, he was a quiet kid, but in those rare moments when he got angry, his temper would be uncontrollable. Qasim said, “This experience taught me a lot on how to control my aggression, how to lead, be a team player, and make decisions that would benefit all.” Qasim’s house is quite near to the Deonar Dumping Ground. “When the fire broke out, I couldn’t even see my neighbour’s house. The authorities come once a week, do nothing, and return,” laments Qasim.

This small step by Subhankar and his team has impacted the lives of these kids in a big way.

Here are some pics from the tournament

Qasim, the captain of the seniors team

Learn more about the initiative

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Sharath donated Rs.10,000

Good going Aditya. Keep up building the next gen.

Akash donated $100
Soumen donated Rs.2,000