6 am: Inspiration sat on a bus to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya.
Batch 2008 graduate from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Pradyut Voleti brings his army of 30 underprivileged kids — whose dear friend is basketball — to his school from a small place in Noida Sector 93A called “Gheja Village”. Fond of basketball from his school days, Voleti would be seen only on the basketball court, captaining the school in many tournaments.
What’s a better way to give pay respect to his school than to show what he is today, impacting lives.
Seven years after Voleti graduated from the school, he brought back something that has left the students and teachers in awe. The underprivileged kids from his Dribble Academy performed some incredible ball handling skills that amused everyone in the prayer assembly. Everyone from students to the Principal of the school met the kids from Dribble Academy personally and conveyed their best wishes. The Principal of the school Mrs. Anuradha Joshi was awestruck when she saw 5 year old Priyanshi do two ball handling drills, she further appreciated the work that Pradyut Voleti is doing for the society and for the game of basketball.
On one side there was a reunion of teachers with Pradyut after 7 years but on the other hand there was a reunion of the underprivileged kids with a full length basketball court. Most of these 5th graders who play basketball at dribble academy have never seen a full length basketball court. They workout in a Govt. school in Gheja village which has a half court that is cemented in the backyard of the school.
Most of these kids don’t have proper shoes to practice in, something that came as a shock to everyone at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya after watching these kids perform. Mrs.Anuradha Joshi had initiated a Q&A session in the assembly between the students and the kids from Dribble academy just to inspire the students about the work ethics of these young kids. Students at the assembly were so inspired by the Dribble academy kids that they followed them to the basketball court where they crowded the sidelines to watch what these kids could do with the hoops.
What amazes everyone is that all these 5th to 8th graders have joined the Dribble Academy for only 6 months now, and showcased excellence despite their difficulties and struggle in their life.
Close to 1000 students present in the assembly hall walked out inspired after the kids performance and Pradyut’s speech:
“It’s been an honor for me to came back to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, especially for promoting basketball and creating awareness on the underprivileged. These kids are an inspiration to all the players around the country and they have proved that the will to do something and a strong heart can take you places regardless of where you come from and what you have. They are reason for you to work hard, get out and get better. I thank Sardar Patel Vidyalaya for giving me this opportunity to bridge the gap between the underprivileged and the students through basketball. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya has always been about helping others out to reach greatness. As my mentor Ganon Baker says ‘Stars can’t shine without darkness. To be great you will have to work. You don’t always see the results right away but keep fighting. You are shining.'”
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