Even in 2017, most children living in the slums of India don’t have access to clean water, food or clothes. Education, self-worth, sports, and the belief that they have a future, all remain a distant dream.
Such is the life of kids living in Gejha, a tiny village near Noida in Northern India. Many of these children are subjected to child labor, alcoholism and domestic violence in by their own families. They live in crowded homes with unsanitary conditions. Typically, a family of eight is cramped in a 250 square feet room. Without guidance and direction, most of these children end up gravitating towards a life of petty crime, substance abuse and child labour.
Until the Dribble Academy took a stand.
The innovative after-school program in began in 2013 with five kids, two bamboo sticks and a ring used as a hoop but has expanded into an empowering program for 150 children aged 5-14. The massive growth of the program has left the organizers of the school in financial strain.
To continue funding the life changing program, the Dribble Academy has launched an Generosity Campaign on Indiegogo to seek Canadian support and keep their doors open. 100% of the funds raised go to the Dribble Academy program.
The campaign launched yesterday has already had major visibility with 5k views of its video feature on YouTube, 7.2k Facebook Views and 100 Facebook shares. The goal is to raise $25,000 to keep the Dribble Academy in operation and continue to change the lives of the disadvantaged children who are able to benefit from it.
The crowdfunding campaign seeks to reach those outside of India able to help fund the essentials of the program. The directable donations for the campaign include: food and drink for the entire program, transportation to tournaments, compensation for coaching staff, medical insurance, shoes, clothing and sporting equipment.
The Dribble Academy program is run by professional basketball trainer, Pradyut Voleti. Voleti, a Master in Clinical Psychology (Amity University), was trained by USA’s leading skill development trailer, Ganon Baker, as part of the Shadow Coaching Program at Elev8 Sports Institute in Florida, USA. He was personally trained by Cody Toppert, a Cornell Legend, who has played 9 years in Europe and the NBA D League.
Each Program conducted by Dribble Academy focuses on the core skills that make you a successful in Basketball: Ball Handling, Hand Eye Coordination, Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention and Correct Shooting Mechanisms.
The focus on Dribble Academy is to bring life skills to the court and learn the art of sharing, friendship, bonding and teamwork.
The program aims to give the children of the poor town of Gejha a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Voleti started the program with his own experiences of the game in mind. “Basketball instilled discipline, gave me direction, a purpose, made me work hard in a team and individually,” said Voleti. “I thought of Basketball as the foundation to bring these very same qualities to the children of Gejha.”
The program has had a major impact on girls in Gejha:
When the program began, only one of the 5 children was female. With the conservative nature of India, young women were discouraged from playing sports. Shaily Upadhya was a pioneer of her time with the personal drive to match. Following Shaily’s participation in the Dribble Academy, she was awarded a five year fully-funded scholarship to Delhi NCR, a prestigious school in neighbouring metropolis Delhi.
After gaining the trust of the parents of the community, Dribble Academy now has over 50 girls enrolled in the program. The academy considers this to be their greatest achievement to date.
The Dribble Academy is hoping that the media will help spread the word on their charitable fundraising campaign and help reach worldwide donors who want to give back.
Company Name: EncycloMedia
Contact Person: Mukesh Manik