Asha (19) is part of our Open School Project which we’ve started on January 10, 2019. Here is a portrat of her.

Asha was the first person in the village to get a passport and go abroad. This was no easy feat. As an Adivasi (indigenous people) AND a girl – there was nothing like a green card for the entire process. What a bumpy journey we had to overcome all the hurdles laid out on the way. From intrigues in the village to vicious slurs and defamation on various sides, all kinds of stuff happened which we never thought or even dreamed of when we asked her if she wanted to go abroad to learn better English. But she managed it all and is now slowly but surely finding her own way.

She learnt a lot as she moved forward. Besides English – and skateboarding what she has learned the most is how to be herself. She became self-confident and how to stand up and fight for her desires and dreams. Even if this means trouble. She has taken responsibility for her own life and is learning to learn. She might lack a bit of passion and energy – but I believe that passion and energy are what she has seen plenty of during her time at the World Skateboarding Championships in Nanjing where she represented India.

She had this kind of all-important spark when she was standing with all the other female skateboarders at the Olympic bowl in Nanjing. When she saw how energized, fearless and passionate her fellow competitors were and how much they wanted to drop into this bowl and master a safe yet tricky passage, she felt the difference. It kept her thinking until she concluded after a few days that it was exactly this energy and passion that made the vital difference. The big challenge will be to keep this fire alive and burning and translate it into her daily activities.

Asha in China at the World Championships in Skateboarding

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