From A Hooligan To A Youth Leader: Story Of Vishnu

Posted by Ankit Koul
February 16, 2017

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Pro Sport Development (PSD) in partnership with Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF) organized the Kadam Badhate Chalo (KBC) Sports Leadership workshops in rural and semi-urban communities across four locations in North India in January 2017 viz. Najafgarh in Delhi and Cholapur, Chitrakoot and Banda in Uttar Pradesh. These workshops were attended by 144 youth, 72 boys and 72 girls. The objective of this workshop was to equip youth with skills to become leaders in their communities, using sport as a medium to challenge mindsets about gender, equality and violence.

Vishnu, one of the participants of the sports leadership workshops in Najafgarh, New Delhi, shared his story of his personal transformation, of which being a part of the KBC program has played a big role. Vishnu used to be a local thug before joining the KBC Program. One day his elder brother, who was part of a local gang, brought home several hand-made pistols (Katta), which were used by Vishnu to scare people. Moreover, Vishnu used these pistols as an object to hit people with but never fired them. He and his family were not even scared of the police. Initially, when he and his friends were approached by the local KBC partner organization named Samajik Badlav Trust (SBT) to join the program, he laughed it off and found the objective of the program to be meaningless. Vishnu was blinded by the darkness of his fearless lifestyle and a day came when he was alone, as all his friends had left him to become a part of KBC program.

Vishnu was astonished to see the people of his locality showing respect towards his friends for the initiative they took to join KBC program. But he was convinced that he did a right thing and paid no heed to the community member’s behavior. One day, a local butcher attacked his mother with a butcher knife over a petty issue and hurt his mother physically. He got that man arrested but that man got away from the police by paying them a bribe. This incident made Vishnu realize the pain of injustice and it made him reflect on his own lifestyle. He decided to mend his actions and decided to join the KBC Program.

Vishnu has transformed into a humble and a decent young boy in his community, who is keen to bring about change with respect to violence against women and girls. With the help of KBC program, he has moved on from his ruthless past and is now dedicated to learning and working towards enhancing his leadership skills for a social cause. If you met Vishnu today, with his caring, quiet yet confident nature, you could not believe the past from which he has evolved to become a young changemaker.

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