In the heart of Pune District, something extraordinary is happening. A group of remarkable young women from Paragaon and Bopgaon villages have been leading inspiring transformations in their communities, and it all began with the sound of a cricket ball hitting the bat. This incredible journey is part of the On Drive Cricket Leadership Project, an initiative that empowers women to become leaders of social progress and champions of gender equality. The project is implemented by Magic Bus India Foundation and The Change Foundation with the support of the Robert Walters Group.
Over three months, 15 exceptional young women underwent a transformation combines the skills of cricket to practice leadership. They have developed valuable leadership skills through cricket-based activities and harnessed their potential to drive change. The result? It is an extraordinary display of women as powerful change agents.
One of the most striking outcomes of this project is the establishment of Community Development Centres to create education interest among adolescents and increase school attendance, raise awareness about adolescent health, career opportunities, government support schemes and encourage parent participation. These centres serve as a platform for education, personal development, and empowerment. Here, these young leaders are planting the seeds of a brighter future for the next generation. But their initiatives don't stop there. They have also organised health camps and POCSO workshops, addressing crucial issues within their communities.
Practical challenges, such as sewage and electricity problems, have not deterred these young leaders. They have rolled up their sleeves and taken the initiative to fix these long-standing issues, proving they are leaders on the cricket pitch and in their communities. Their active citizen initiatives extended far beyond the cricket pitch. They included waste management initiatives, a health camp for 150 people, an awareness session for 97 students on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and a menstrual awareness workshop for 70 girls. These projects highlight these women leaders' holistic approach towards community development.
Often perceived as a male-dominated sport, cricket is now being actively promoted among women by these inspiring leaders. They have organised cricket practices for women, breaking stereotypes and encouraging more women to participate in sports. Their dedication to cricket is not just about the game itself but about promoting the idea that women can excel in any field they choose.
The culmination of this incredible journey was the all-women cricket tournament on October 8, 2023. Organised by these remarkable young women, it featured around 5-6 teams from each community. The tournament was a testament to their leadership, determination, and ability to inspire others to join the cause.
The On Drive Cricket Leadership Project is more than just a sports initiative; it's a movement driving change in rural communities. It proves women can be powerful change agents when given the opportunity and support. These young leaders have shown that gender should never be a barrier to realising one's potential.
In a world where the gender gap still exists in many areas, the On Drive Cricket Leadership Project stands as a shining example of how sports can empower women to be leaders, not only on the field but in all aspects of life. These women are not just playing cricket; they are batting for equality and hitting mighty sixes for change, inspiring others to join the innings of empowerment and leadership.Back