Ramkesh is one of the rural changemakers who is on our Europe trip – he is only 10 years old and he is like a Ninja on the skateboard. His first day in Europe was quite challenging, because he thought he would die because of the food – he simply didn’t like German food. Meanwhile he is perfectly fine, eating quite a lot and if he moves on like this, we soon have to buy bigger pants 🙂

Here is a short story how Ramkesh describes a day in his village.

“Hi, my name is Ramkesh, I am in 4th standard and I am ten years old. I have one younger brother and four elder sisters. I wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning; I freshen up myself, and fill water buckets. I head to the skatepark carrying my skateboard, notebook and a pen. First, we learn English in the Bamboo house, then we do skateboarding, play with frisbee and later learn to play football. I go home around 10 o’clock to have breakfast. So, I go home to have breakfast and afterwards help my mother with household work. We collect the leaves of a tree called ‘Tendu‘, the leaves of Tendu are used to roll ‘Beedi‘, also it bears a fruit which we all villagers eat. After making bundles of Tendu leaves, there is a house in our village where me and my mother take them, the person there puts it into our account in a notebook through which we get to know how much money we earn per collection. From this house, the leaves are taken to Panna. When it turns into a large sum of money in the notebook; either we buy basic necessities or we waive off our previous debts. Some money is deposited in our bank account as well.

Housework is done and it is time for me to roam around in the village. There are some mango trees, I use my ‘Gulel‘ to pick them. Then I cherish mangoes. Sometimes, I play ‘Chiranga‘ (Marbles) with other kids. Almost half the day passes by doing all this and it is time to head home to have lunch. I eat lunch at 2 o’clock. Around 4 o’clock, it is time to hit teh skatepark again and practice some new tricks. Exhausted and full of sweat, I go back home; make my bed and lie down.

Meals for breakfast and lunch are mostly the same every day. We eat basic food like lentils, seasonal vegetable curry and rice. Not so fancy food. For dinner, most of the time my grandfather hunts down birds like ‘Titar‘ when he take our goats to the jungle. We eat wild pigs as well. If he is unlucky to get something from the jungle, we eat the same rice, lentils etc. During weekends, we eat chicken sometimes. I used to drink milk when we had cows but now we don’t. Actually, we can’t afford it anymore. My father met with an accident once when he was going to Panna on his tractor and since then, he is on total bedrest. We have consulted many doctors and have tried many expensive medicines but nothing has helped him to get out of the bed.

I like skateboarding and I want to continue it further. In the beginning, I used to see other kids showing off their new tricks. Everybody was getting the new buzz and was ahead of me. Slowly and steadily, I gained confidence that I can do it! I wore pads and put my foot on the board for the first time. My philosophy is simple ‘Conquer your fear or your fear will conquer you’. I have no fear. I can do a drop in from anywhere. You present me a challenge and I will do it!”

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