Debopriyo Sarkar, all of 7 yrs was determined to have his older brother, Supriyo perform his best. He trusted his brother with it. During the build up to the event, nothing mattered more to him than the readiness of his brother to perform. Supriyo, 14 yrs, likes sports but loses attention within a short span, very often not exceeding 30 minutes. What others were able to achieve through practises within specified time frames, for Supriyo it spilt over all through the day. Whether exhausted, or about to have a meal or even while cooking, all his family members would be swift to attend to him as he picked up the ball. Very often while cooking, his mother would observe his technique intermittently, Debopriyo would count and their grandfather would cheer.
Supriyo was identified through his regular bi-weekly practises of Roller Skating at the JRD TATA Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Shortly before the Virtual event was announced, due to a lockdown the Athletes discontinued to visit the facility.
A ray of hope glimmered as the demo videos reached him. Debopriyo promptly watched them, observing and memorising the techniques shown there. He would quickly demonstrate the moves to his brother, replicating the clippings with a focus on specific hand movement and posture. He Coached his brother, with all seriousness and resolve. His grandfather, who used to take Supriyo regularly to the stadium for his Roller-Skating sessions, took a backseat as the skills entered the screen, something that he was unfamiliar with. This gave a chance to Debopriyo, who is fond of gaming on the cell, to fill in and get into action.
Debopriyo speaks truly as a Coach, “I feel that my bhaiya (elder brother) has improved. He tapped the ball 50 times earlier, and now his count goes to 90; he could ‘hit the wicket’ once, but regular practises have increased his best to 4. Bhaiya wants to be in the police but I want him to earn fame in Roller Skating”
“ I think Debopriyo and Supriyo are around the same mental age. They connect very well. Debopriyo is very mature. He is very aware of his brother and at his young age is a pillar of support to him” – Supriyo’s mother
At the age of two, Supriyo showed delayed milestones which established a learning disability. With limited options, his parents made him join a special school for children with Autism, but that too did not work. Very often his behaviour caused discomfort to the other students and he was, one day, asked to join another school.
Supriyo currently attends a government school and is in the sixth grade. He can read his name and his address, and the rest is yet to be learnt. Here too, roughly a year back, a group of young students exploited his passion for cycling, landing him in a situation where his family had to confront the law-and-order authorities to explain the condition of Supriyo. Things got settled eventually, but have left a scar that prevents his mother from sending him out by himself. They have always been supported by their family but very often have heard aching comments from people around them.
Says his mother, “Supriyo is overall calm, but due to his age perhaps, he finds it difficult to express himself and that makes him restless. Sports helps steer his energy positively and this event has been a blessing. The challenge, however, continues as does the pandemic”