I had a dream to build a community of artists and athletes where we can learn from each other and inspire each other in different arts and sports.
A safe place where we have no discrimination, no disparity and no disrespect. A place where we play extreme sports, make music, dance, sing, jump, move etc and encourage each other to be the best we can. A place where empathy, love, mutual respect and understanding are the pillars of the community.
I grew up in an army family and unity in diversity was the foundation for my childhood.
Growing up in different parts of the country, I learned how people can forget their individual and cultural differences and can come together to celebrate each other and live in harmony. I felt part of a bigger family. This feeling made me feel safe and comfortable. This feeling is something which we all humans crave but very few actually get to experience.
Kids have highly impressionable minds and small positive things done daily, over a period of time can be highly beneficial towards their growth as human beings. I started Extreme Kolkata as a dream.
Slowly but steadily more and more people started joining us and now we have all kinds of super talented artists, athletes and individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups. These individuals have found each other through Extreme Kolkata.
A lot of our community members comprise of young kids. A lot of these kids come from underprivileged backgrounds. Here, we all coexist and are always rooting for each other. Here we are all equal. We all share the same love for arts and sports.
Everyone loves everyone and we have a great sense of community and brotherhood. There is so much inspiration to be found in each member of your family(community). When I see people from diverse backgrounds come together to create magic and coexist in harmony, this is my motivation to build a better world with empathic humans.
I’ve always been into sports of all kinds and I’m naturally pretty good at most. I used to roller skate as a kid some 20 years back, and I discovered skateboarding during the lockdown as my friend’s skateboard was with me during my solitude. And then there was no looking back, I had found a new love in my life. It was so liberating and I felt so free.
It’s this feeling that I wanted to share with the world, and so, post the pandemic, I got myself a new pair of in-line skates and resumed my skating journey after 20 years.
By now I’ve taught more than 100 children how to skate and this has happened in the last two years. I’ve seen kids starting to attend regular classes who used to bunk weeks in a row, all because they know they need to attend school regularly so that they can earn the right to skate. This has been a life-changing experience.
The first and biggest challenge we face every day is that we don’t have a dedicated space or a skatepark in Kolkata. Skating on streets can be dangerous and a dedicated space to skate is our need of the hour, with a growing community of skaters, we require proper infrastructure.
The second challenge we face is the lack of awareness. Many look down upon extreme sports and skating, almost as if we’re doing quite the opposite of a social activity. Thirdly, unfortunately, there is no support from the government.
While skateboarding and break dancing are now recognised as Olympic sports, we don’t have the setup to prepare athletes for this. Neither do we get any recognition. On the contrary, we (skaters and extreme athletes) are treated badly and many people and authorities often misbehave with us and disrespect our culture openly.
And unfortunately, as many sports in our country face, we lack sponsorship and financial support. Many of our kids are from underrepresented backgrounds and they find it difficult to raise funds to buy equipment. It’s tough for them to even get support from their parents as some fear that their kids will get seriously injured and won’t be able to afford treatment, while others see this as “fun” and not something to help in their future.
Despite these challenges, there have been notable positive transformations among my students. They embrace values like empathy, gratitude, mutual respect, teamwork, and brotherhood.
The atmosphere is both healthy and competitive, with a remarkable display of care and support. Regular school attendance underscores their understanding of balancing studies and play. Remarkably, students who initially battled anxiety, anger issues, and depression have evolved into compassionate, responsible individuals.
Their physical and artistic abilities have flourished, contributing to a thriving community in the heart of Kolkata. The unity prevailing among our students transcends differences in class, gender, religion, and skin colour, exemplifying a growing family that celebrates diversity every day.
Our kids are discovering themselves every day. Learning life skills and soft skills through the canvas of arts and sports is a phenomenal development in all our lives. Our kids are not shy anymore, they are very confident now. These kids now teach anyone who comes to learn from us. For these kids skating is like a blessing, for some, it’s the only source of freedom from the mundane.
Skating is a ray of sunshine to many, for some, it’s healing, and for some, it’s an escape from their otherwise painful reality. Some look at it as a fitness activity and to others, it’s a way of life. The Skate Revolution is here and is changing lives every day. Extreme Kolkata is leading this movement.
In my view, fostering the growth of children into compassionate individuals requires a foundation built on love, empathy, trust, and understanding.
Allowing children ample opportunities to play and learn enhances their developmental journey. To achieve holistic development, sports and arts serve as potent tools. Sports instil values such as teamwork, unity, strength, brotherhood, and life balance—essential qualities that should be cultivated from an early age. Meanwhile, art nurtures the seed of creativity in every child, celebrating their innate artistic abilities.
Believing in and motivating children is key to unlocking their authentic selves. Similar to seed, the right conditions, coupled with love and care, can transform children into flourishing rainforests of potential.
I aspire to turn Extreme Kolkata into an NGO and work closely with the government to empower people using arts and sports as SUPER POWERS. I want to be able to buy quality equipment for all the kids who cannot afford skates and other safety equipment, I wish to promote martial arts training for self-defence for everyone, especially women and children, I wish to speak up against bullying and other forms of abuse.
I want to empower people with the right tools of arts and sports. I wish to create a space where mental health is always in check and people can trust each other and help each other grow.
Since the inception of Extreme Kolkata, this community has profoundly impacted me spiritually. I believe in the universal human pursuit of a happy and contented life, achievable through balanced physical, mental, and emotional well-being. My initiative connects diverse individuals bound by a shared love for arts and sports. The enduring impact of this movement will resonate indefinitely.
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela
My mission is to make education a powerful force, transcending boundaries and connecting us all on a deeper level. Life is for living and striving to be our best selves every day.