Arun (17) has “earned” his first brownie points during our Janwaar Castle Skateboarding Challenge in November 2016 when he won the “social award” of the tournament. He wasn’t among the best skateboarders back then but this event sparked his interests – in multiple ways. He started to go to school, his social skills improved and he became our best skateboarder. Just like Asha he participated in the Skateboarding World Championships in China.
Arun’s journey was quite a bumpy one, the Yadav boys weren’t pleased when they realized that the village kids had chosen Arun, an Adivasi, as their leader – and every now and then they would really challenge and threaten him. Nowadays this rarely happens and some of the Yadav guys have become best friends with him … which is wonderful.
At the same time the fact that the kids had chosen him as their “leader” has nurtured Arun’s extreme desire to “be the best” and therefore to be the leader – unfortunately not in the field of academic learning. He openly takes the stand that his English is good enough (which in fact is very basic) and he has a very hard time to take sessions and prepare his own schedule. He is very slow in understanding. In many ways Arun is very conservative and traditional and we came to learn that with him progressive change won’t happen. Which is fine.
The kids admire him for his skateboarding skills and he loves to be admired – maybe pretty normal for a teenage boy. Hip clothes and a six pack rank higher than edcuation. He struggles with the concept of a team – this hardly exits in his world (yet) – because he believes simply by being the best skateboarder and an elder kid he is the chosen one. It’s a huge challenge for him not to be the “leader”. This also reflects in his relationship with is younger brother Anil. It will be interesting to see how the two will handle it. Arun needs to understand that he has to give space to the “little” one to let him grow and maybe even by-pass him.
We’ve hope that this will fade away once he’s passed his teens 🙂
Yet Arun takes responsibility in the village and is getting things done. He discovered his passion for photography and is using my camera to the fullest extend. He contributed some great pictures to our lates book: Janwaar. Beyond Skateboarding.
Arun is a self-confident teenager and has learned to speak up. He is without any doubt the leader in skateboarding and is taking the kids forward is sports.
Just like Asha he has also registered for the 10th grade NIOS exams in April / May 2021.