I have reiterated time and again that the best part about being in the social sector has to do with the inspiring people you get to meet. They keep our hope in humanity alive and the inherent goodness in the world alive. If our lives are like rechargeable batteries, they are the ones who help me recharge mine 🙂
I met one such energetic young man recently and was amazed at what passion can make one do! We ran a campaign called ‘Warriors of Change‘ to award college students who were doing their bit for the society and Tejas was one of the winners. All of 22 (just!), Tejas is the brain and force behind an initiative called ‘Sparky Football‘ [Sparky Football on Facebook] and cherishes a dream (is also working towards it) of building India’s best under-19 football team of underprivileged kids. He currently works with a team of such kids day and night and is yet so humble about it all, as though he is just shouldering a responsibility and nothing more. The kids are themselves so inspiring by what I saw from videos that Tejas shared with us. They work in coffee shops etc.. and train with him in the midst of their busy schedule.
Tejas who has been passionate about football since a very young age says he also chose his engineering college based on which one of them had a big field for playing the game 😉 He did not continue with his education there, but is currently pursuing a course in Psychology to understand his kids better. I could not stop my eyes from overflowing when I saw a video of how he had even performed football clowning (dressing up as a clown and performing various freestyle tricks) in hospitals to bring a smile on the faces of the kids there. He also performs in schools to bring out hidden interests and talents in football.
He has been seen in the mainstream media pretty often (you can just search for Sparky Football), but what can help one understand him best is this TedX talk, where he was one of the youngest speakers!
Tejas’s life definitely opens our eyes to what Young India really looks like. With such passionate and patriotic young people in our midst, our future definitely seems brighter 🙂