Carving a character through Sports

It was when Deepanshu was 6-7 years of age, he would often climb the boundary wall and walk on its narrow width, balancing himself. He would do this, behind his mother’s back, with the support of his brother Tushar, who would keep a vigil. When his mother got whiff of it, she saw him do this, but, in silent admiration. She saw a ray of hope.  

Deepanshu would often speak with his friend’s mother to get him roller skates so that he could practice, since he was not sure of adequate support from home.

Against the background of her struggle to get the right school for him, Ms Rekha, Deepanshu’s mother, saw sports as a silver lining. The roller skates would not last too long as he would practice furiously, rolling through the lanes and by-lanes around his house. This happens even now. Deepanshu Nath, 19 yrs, Athlete from Delhi, is practicing Figure Skating to be able to represent India at the upcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022. Until a month back he could practice, which is when his rollers broke and has left him focusing on keeping himself physically fit. His mother, Ms Rekha, is struggling to collect enough finances to buy yet another pair for him.

Deepanshu’s father is a carpenter and his mother is a home maker. He has a sibling Tushar Nath, who is also his best friend. He finds a mentor in his Coach Mr Rohit Manchanda, who has trained him in a range of sports as well. Deepanshu is a student of the MBCN (Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan) a special school, since 2013.

According to his mother a difficult birth led to anomalies that impacted his intellect. His early years had his parents taking Deepanshu frequently to the doctor. He struggled through his school years until he joined MBCN. Earlier he would often come back frustrated not being able to understand or see the board. He was often chided for not paying adequate attention. When a school advised his parents to take him to a Psychologist, their response was that ‘ he is not pagal (Mad). So why should he go’. But finding no way out, they did and they finally found that their son is a ‘slow learner’, showing no visible signs of it

An aching journey took them from one school to another, receiving only rejections, even from a govt school. “I could not understand at all. What was happening with my son, who looked perfectly normal to me. We did not have adequate finances to support us. MBCN and Rohit Sir showed us the way.” – says Rekha

Rohit, Deepanshu’s Coach ensures that he keeps himself fit and continues to guide him telephonically. Since he is preparing Deepanshu for the World Games, he has told him not to bike or take his scooter, to reduce the risk of an injury. Very often, Deepanshu is given the responsibility of assisting the Coach in managing the other Athletes as well.

Deepanshu was seen in a different light as he participated in Sports. He cracked out of a shell where he had found his peace, keeping to himself and talking only to his immediate family members. With sports came confidence and a sense of belonging. Being a team-player he learnt to reach out to others. What he learnt here took him through a much more ‘giving’ attitude, through his mother’s constant encouragement.

When the first wave of Covid 19 struck, he saw people around him stunned and ignorant. A Mask was an urgent requirement, but many people did not know where to acquire it from, while a few were completely ignorant of what exactly it was.  As he got familiar with the safety protocols, he and Tushar, helped their mother stitch 100 masks to give to the people around them, free of charge.

Last year in June 2020, when their father injured his wrist and was unable to take up any work, the two brothers filled in. Deepanshu felt proud to shape a Kitchen and a TV cabinet.

Deepanshu also is a prominent Athlete leader. In a recently conducted virtual event he took charge of planning music across fifteen sessions. He meticulously selected the genre from entry music to energetic beats for the physical activity, to om chanting for yoga and finally the KBC theme for a quiz segment.

With several concurring activities, Deepanshu has his attention fixed on his practices for the World Games. His dream is to be able to have a Skating (including Figure Skating ) stadium close to his home to encourage and train many more skaters , while keeping himself as well in good practice of a sport he has a passion for