India's largest skateboarding park isn't in a big city, it's in a small village in Madhya Pradesh. A sport which has long been identified with urban neighborhoods across the world, is being used in a village in central India as a trigger for social change. The skatepark is 450 sqm big. It’s the first park in rural India and it’s the largest one in India.
Ulrike Reinhard - a German national - established the skate park in Janwar, Madhya Pradesh in February 2015, with the help of a few Indian and international skateboarding organizations.
The region to which the village belongs is notorious for being one of the most socially and economically backward areas of the country. Untouchability, gender inequality, illiteracy, and alcoholism are rampant here. The film documents how the skate park is gradually changing the social fabric of the village and addressing some of its most deep rooted issues.
These barefoot children are a part of a silent revolution which is taking place In the small town of UP. Archaic social barriers are being challenged by the Adivasi kids who learn to skate board alongside kids from higher casts. This town of Bundekhand not only has a prevalent caste and class divide but also palpable gender stereotyping.
Thanks to German activist, Ulrike Reinhard and her Castle Skatepark, skateboarding has been the one activity that has brought them altogether, and where they can see that social standing and gender no longer matter.
|Image via Nyjah's instagram|
And yesterday, on Thanksgiving, Pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston and his team, visited the skatepark to not only support the kids, but through his water charity, Let it Flow, Nyjah and his team will look at ways to solve the water problem at Janwaar, as they have in many parts of the world.
Here were the "rules" for meeting Nyjah yesterday:
How to meet Nyjah
– Reach Janwaar Castle on 24th morning
– Get your badge
– Don’t drink. Don’t smoke
- And always, Girls first!
Got to love that last one!