Guru Dronocharya of Chhattisgarh leads Sarkari School students to Olympics

When asked what he would ask for from the Union Sports Minister, Rinkal Bagga shyly said: “I would ask for another kit and would request for a coach who would guide us even for just a few hours per week.”

Practice session in open field

The untiring efforts of a government primary school teacher bore fruits when an ten-year-old Varun Patel bagged the 14th position in the State Archery Tournament. The success was huge for the villagers of Dharampur in Chhattishgarh as for the first time from their village made to state level competition.

Today we bring you an amazing story from the state of Chhattisgarh. The story is full of inspiration, motivation, efforts, struggles, and ultimately of success.

Lets visit to the time of childhood when dream was experienced with open eyes and that too in the light of the day.

Rinkal Bagga, a Sikh teacher at Government Primary School in Dharampur village, Bagbahra, Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh, initiated training the primary school students in archery with hopes and dreams of helping them to make into the Olympics. He got help from his colleague Janakram Dhruv, who is also passionate about this initiative and working with him since day 1.

Chhattisgarh, the rice bowl of India, famous for its lush forests and serene beauty, has many challenges that people face on a day to day basis.

But nothing was enough of a hurdle to stop this small village of about 1500 villagers from bringing the gift of the ancient world to their children.

Bagga said he thought of starting archery training in the school premises when he noticed students practising archery in a nearby sports center (Biharjhar Ashram). It was his dream to learn archery but due to financial constraints and lack of facilities, he could never learn it.

“I approached the trainers of the center and found out that there were students who have played at the national level,” he said.

Bricks were used as an alternative for muscle conditioning

This was the moment that gave him the idea of preparing the students of classes 4 and 5 for the nationals.

However, the first problem was the lack of proper facilities and equipment in school. Fortunately, an opportunity knocked on the doors of Dharampur, when the Chhattisgarh government started a scheme- Khel Gadhiya.

Under this scheme, the primary schools were given Rs 3000 for promotion of sports and games activities. Along with the villagers, Bagga raised funds to buy practicing kit. It was purchased from Meghalaya through trainers of Asharam.

The next challenge for Bagga was to generate the interest in children and to convince the villagers for this activities.

Patience is a virtue of great mind. The girl student awaits her chance while utilizing this to excercise.

Bagga’s polite yet determined efforts yielded results as villagers and school teachers supported him in his attempts and the nearby ground was prepared for the training purpose.

Besides, lack of adequate information and guide were also a major challenge for the school teacher. However, determined Bagga was ready to face any trouble and without losing hopes, he and Janakaram, another teacher prepared themselves to take on any sort of issues.

With hesitation, they approached the trainers of Asharam, who were more than happy to help.

It was tough to practice with one kit but under the proper visualization of Bagga, it became possible. While one student took the chance, the others exercised patiently and waited for their own turn.

Children exercising with their makeshift stretch bands

The exercise equipment were makeshift stretch bands prepared from rubbers and bricks in place of dumbbells.

The innovative ideas to build physical strength and often long 10km walks to train at the Asharam on weekends was rewarding at the end.

It was not easy for students belonging to poor families to take adequate diets and be physically fit.

Nevertheless, with the collective efforts of guardians and the school teachers, children started their physical training.

After a month, the students were trained to shoot arrows.
Within just six months, the school children triumphed in the district level archery competition.

Then Varun Patel, a student of class V, was selected for the state level archery competition. Later he also played under-14.

Varun Patel, then class 4th student

Interestingly, now both boys and girls are learning archery here.

When asked what he would ask for from the Union Sports Minister, Rinkal Bagga shyly said “I would ask for another kit and would request for a coach who would guide us even for just a few hours per week.”

Now Rinkal Bagga deservingly feels empowered and happy when the teachers from other schools call and ask for guidance.

He helps with kit buying, training and motivating the children.
His dream of seeing a girl participate in the next state tournament would break more stereotypes and start another story to be shared.

Bagga and little archers of Dharampur are eagerly awaiting for the schools to reopen so that they can start practising again.

Like this story? Or have something to share? Or to help Rinkal Bagga and many more Gurus like him? Write to us: [email protected]

(With Megha Rana)

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All the stories are originally designed by team Sarkari School. Strict action will be taken against plagiarism.

About the author: Abhishek Ranjan

Abhishek Ranjan is the Founder and Director of SarkariSchool.IN

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