Janwaar Castle – India’s largest skateboarding park isn’t in a big city; it’s in a small village in Madhya Pradesh. The skate park is gradually changing the social fabric of the village and addressing some of its most deep-rooted issues. Janwaar Castle is not just a skateboarding park but an instrument of revolution.
Ulrike Reinhard – A German author, futurist & community activist – established a skate park in Janwaar, Madhya Pradesh with the help of a few Indian and international skateboarding organizations, in February 2015. The region to which the village belongs is notorious for being one of the most socially and economically backward areas of the country. In a region where untouchability, gender inequality, illiteracy, and alcoholism are prevalent, the skate park and the children are engineering changes in the social fabric.
The key to change here is the two rules being implemented. If the student skips the school, he cannot use the skateboarding and girls were always given equal importance and encouragement.
The children embraced the park, took over ownership and responsibility. Ulrike’s team just put two basic rules: “No school – No skateboarding!” and “Girls First”. Now they find that the school attendance has gone up, the kids are much more committed and much more self-confident and love to explore anything that is new. Skateboards are transforming the way the children and adults in this village think and act. Janwaar Castle has become a learning camp with the skateboards driving the revolution.
When villages like Janwaar are throbbing with positivity, who would want to run to the cities?
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