GC Impact: 13-yo Pooja Chauhan joins taekwondo coaching; India Cares reaches out to help her
A Gaon Connection report on August 17 about Pooja Chauhan, a young Taekwondo athlete who could not afford professional coaching to move forward in her sport, caught the eye of India Cares. And the young athlete has joined a training centre.
Manish Dubey 2 Sep 2023 11:26 AM GMT
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Pooja Chauhan is careful as she touches the feet of every single idol in the altar of her home. With her eyes shut tight, hands folded and bent head she prays. Perhaps she is saying thank you to the deities.
Yesterday, on September 1, the 13-year-old started training with a professional coach in Taekwondo. Pooja, a budding Taekwondo champion, trained and practised hard and won many medals, but her parents could not afford a coach, even though she showed great promise and had brought in many medals.
She definitely needed a coach to move further in her athletics journey, but her father, Satish Chauhan, could not muster enough money for that from his job as a tea stall owner in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, who made not more than Rs 500 a day selling tea and biscuits.
Gaon Connection published a story about the promising Taekwondo athlete Pooja Chauhan last month, on August 17, and almost immediately it caught the eye of India Cares, a volunteer-based organisation that extends help to those who need it. India Cares reached out to Gaon Connection saying it would like to help Pooja and was introduced to her family.
India Cares has an initiative called #PromiseBank, which invites individuals, NGOs and companies to register with it as ‘promise depositors’. There is a data bank of these promise depositors and depending on what kind of assistance they can commit to, they are connected to those who can benefit from their help.
In the case of Pooja, it was Jugendar Singh, a promise depositor with India Cares, who pledged his support to undertake her coaching fees. And that is how Pooja joined the coaching yesterday.
As Satish Chauhan saw off his daughter on her first day of training, he said, “We could never imagine a media report could change my daughter’s life. I know she is fortunate and I hope the hundreds and thousands of other children who want to shine in sports but who have to give up their dreams because their parents could not afford to get them training, will also find saviours like Pooja did,” he told Gaon Connection.
Pooja will be coached by Sushant Gupta at the Allenhouse Public School. Sushant Gupta had coached Pooja before the pandemic and was instrumental in her winning several gold, silver and bronze medals. But, when her family could not afford her coaching fees any more, she dropped out.
But now, thanks to India Cares and Jugender Singh, who would pay the training costs, Pooja has resumed training.
Coach Sushant Gupta was happy to see Pooja back in training with him. “She will have training sessions both in the mornings and in the evenings. She has the ability and if she continues training diligently, she will do well,” he told Gaon Connection.
Go, girl, go!