The Futuremakers’ Goal programme in Mumbai has used sport to help 12-year-old Pranjal learn how to voice her opinions and encourage equal opportunities in her community.
Pranjal didn’t have many friends before she participated in the Goal programme, delivered by Maitrayana Charity Foundation, at her school in Sewri. She would watch from the side-lines but did not participate fully in Goal activities like netball and yoga.
However, as time passed, Pranjal began to have short conversations with girls and made several friends, and she finally gained the courage to lead the team in a fun game during a session.
Finding her voice as a leader
As Pranjal came out of her shell, she grew in confidence. During the pandemic, she continued playing with friends on the field and leading them in the fitness and netball skills she’d learned.
Pranjal also found her voice as a leader. The boys occupied so much of the community ground when playing cricket that the girls were pushed for space and were afraid of being hit by the ball.
During a discussion with Goal coaches about the issue, Pranjal suggested changing their session’s timing. She took the initiative and mobilised her friends, parents, and coaches to reach out to the person in charge and ask for permission to use the ground at a time that was convenient for all girls.
Outreaching to empower other girls
Now Pranjal plays with friends regularly on the community ground she once avoided. Besides taking part in sport, Pranjal has shared all she learned through Goal about the menstrual cycle with many of her friends and female family members who did not understand menstruation or how the cycle works. She feels proud to share her knowledge.
Since the six-month Goal programme ended, Pranjal has volunteered to assist coaches in reaching out to other girls in the neighbourhood. She encourages other girls to join the programme after visiting their homes with her coach and sharing her experiences.
She said: “I learned a lot from the programme, which drives me to think more about my goal in the future. I want to do a beautician course at college and start my own beauty salon business.”
Futuremakers by Standard Chartered
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