Sunday, July 17, 2011

Going Pro

I've written about him before and he's been featured in newspaper articles, but I wanted to (re)introduce you all to Mayur, one of the boys from our Sikligar community. Not only did he just pass his 10th standard board exams through the external learning class we started at AIC last year after dropping out of school many years ago (!!), but he is also a very talented golfer who wants to go pro. He started working as a caddy when he was just a kid, and now plays in tournaments around the country, despite the fact that he doesn't have his own set of clubs and didn't even have real sports shoes until we bought some for him for a tournament in Delhi in September! Mayur's father is not in the picture, so he is the primary breadwinner for his family, which is why Mayur started working as a caddy at a young age. He also sleeps outside near a temple every night, and has done so for the past several years, because there is no room for him in his relatives' one-room shack. Last fall, the 10th standard external learning class teacher approached me about sending extra food home with Mayur after class, since she had observed that he usually went hungry at night.

Mayur, showing off his 10th standard board exam results

Despite the challenges that he faces, however, Mayur is always upbeat and optimistic. We are in the process of helping him with college admissions, and, 10th standard certificate in hand, he is looking forward to continuing his education while simultaneously pursuing his luck on the golf course. Mayur has a tournament coming up in the next two weeks and is hoping to dominate the qualifying rounds so that he can go to Delhi again to compete. This represents his best chance of being picked up by a sponsor so that he can afford to play more seriously, so keep your fingers crossed for him!

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