For a smooth sail: Underprivileged kids to learn how to sail

How a concert in the city by the Blackstratblues will soon help underprivileged kids to learn how to sail.

While sailing is considered an elite sport, a sailing club in Hyderabad — the Yacht Club — has been offering lessons to everyone interested in it regardless of economic status. And now, to raise funds for the club’s initiatives, a charity concert by the Blackstratblues’ Warren Mendonsa will be held this month-end to help them easily sail through all odds.

Started in 2009 by Suheim Sheikh, the club makes it accessible to all by linking up with various foundations and NGOs to provide sailing lessons to underprivileged kids in government schools.

Rohini Mukherjee, CEO of Nanhi Kali, a division of the Naandi Foundation that looks after underprivileged girls, explains, “At first, when Suheim approached us, we didn’t believe in his concept. But it was his continuous push and his belief that made it all happen. More than 12 of our girls are training with him regularly.”

“We are working with economically challenged children from several government schools. IPS officer Praveen Kumar, who heads the Social Welfare Department has sent students from Shaikpet Model School and others to be equipped with techniques to compete at different levels. We have taken students to Hong Kong and one to Singapore for regattas. We are planning to increase our strength to 100 students very soon,” says Suheim.

Praveen adds, “We are trying to arrange whatever help we can offer to Suheim. He has taken up a great initiative to blur the economical line in sailing.”
The club has successfully produced two national champions in sub-junior and junior categories.

Some of the students who are doing really well are also part-time instructors for new students, giving them a way to lead a life of dignity through sports.
“When I started to train under Suheim sir, I was afraid, but now the fear is gone. I really love sailing and will take it up as a career,” says Mahboobie, a 12-year-old student from the city. With Suheim’s support, kids are hoisting their sail which is literally equipping them to fight the seas and cruise towards the future.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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