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Janwaar Castle is a learning camp with a skatepark at its core. It's a social experiment and the goal is to transform the village of Janwaar into a wealthier and more prosperous place.

Small stories, big dreams

Little by little, we have come a long way in Janwaar. While some stories of our kids went viral, there are many others, budding slowly and steady, unnoticed and away from the limelight. 

Here are a few stories of these silent transformers of Janwaar – enjoy the read!

Vikram

He was one of the spoiled brats in Janwaar. Born into a “high caste” and relatively well-off family, he constantly bullied the other kids. Initially, he was not really welcome at the skatepark because of his behavior. But lately, he has shown a spark of change. This also helped him make his way to Delhi with Shivraj where he learned the fun of playing with lego. Not that he has transformed, but he does try to demonstrate respect for others from time to time. I believe he now understands that if he behaves nicely with others, he can also become a part of the change that is happening in Janwaar. 

Ankush

As any other Yadav, Ankush comes family where the father is the ruler of the house. Even at 9 years of age, is following his footsteps. As he has seen his father treat his mother, Ankush often comes down harshly on his mother and sister. We call his “chota raja” for his royal behavior towards them, just ordering and not doing anything. But he does see a different environment when he is at the skatepark. I would say he has moved one step towards having respect for his sister. 

On another note, Ankush used to violently shout “Bhaiya! Bhaiya! Bhaiya!” until I heard him. I used to explain him how he could do the same thing without shouting. One day he came to me, “Bhaiya, I know shouting doesn’t help. I will now call you once or twice and wait until you are done with what you are currently doing.”

 

Lakush

He is another gem in Janwaar. He is always nice to everyone. He truly is creative in his own way – that really makes him unique. He uses movie dialogs and idioms in his conversation. He is a cartoonist, make paintings, and sometimes even writes a poem. This is beside the fact that he is a great skateboarder, too! In his case, it is his talent that speaks louder than his words. He has definitely a lot of talent just waiting to be unleashed, and Janwaar Castle will surely encourage him to keep up at it 🙂

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Sidd Zapp’s cartoons — By Lakush

Sepi’s and Arun’s sister

Last year, we have started with a plan to create Janwaar Castle merchandise. Janwaar Castle would come up with bags stitched in Janwaar. When we presented this idea to the older girls of the village, they showed a lot of interest. One day, Sepi’s and Arun’s sister came with Asha to tell us that they have started learning to stitch from a person in Panna, who is teaching them for free! We are working from our side to make this project happen, and the girls’ have shown us that we are on the right track.

Madame Ballu

Our little Madam Ballu is growing up. Earlier she used to come to the skatepark just for the swings and have fun with her best besties — Anka, Laxmi and Guddu. In between, when she was getting bored, she would get on the skateboard. When I saw her last in November, she was still playing — riding a double, double decker skateboards! Anveer can’t balance two boards! She is the one really growing organically with the skateboard. Recently, Ulrike posted that Ballu had made her first drop. Even if she chooses not to become a skateboarder, she will definitely carry a lot of “Janwaar Castle” on her way! 

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Madam Ballu throwing her tantrums in the left

Brijendra

He is one of the top skateboarders in Janwaar Castle. One, we never saw in the front line, but was always there to master a new trick. Since the last march, when he passed grade eigth from Janwaar Middle School, he moved to his aunt’s place about 25km from Janwaar, to continue his studies. We had to especially ask his father to bring him down from there for the challenge in November. Although he has become a star in his new school, he has decided that next year he will shift to a school in Panna, closer to Janwaar, so that he could skate every day again. For this, he might have to cycle about 8km every day to school, but he is completely up for it!

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Brijendra playing Dholak at the skatepark

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