After nearly 16 years, I was a part of school assembly. The only difference was in my placement.
A shy student in my school days, this time I was on the dais this time with a child reading the news, one child reading the prayer and then Principal addressing the school.
I was at Vivekanand Higher Secondary School, Lawspet, Pondicherry.
As I was introduced, I was asked to say a few words. More than a thousand children were facing me. I was quite nervous.
“Good morning to everyone. It has been almost 16 years that I have been a part of such an assembly”, were my opening lines.
“Today I will share with you a small story of a boy.
5 years back, I used to go to a Hockey academy. A frequent visitor at the academy, once I happen to ask the coach, “So, who are the prospective Indian Players here?”
The coach said, “Do you see that guy-Prasanna- there? He has a lot of potential. He is only 13 but the only problem with him is that he plays very good Hockey, only once a week.”
I started observing Prasanna. Indeed, he was grabbing Hockey skills very fast. But mostly he was involved in shouting at other players, sledging at them, using foul language and sometimes involved in activities that would only earn a punishment from his coach.
I went on for a family background and realized that he comes from a underprivileged background and has been labeled as unlucky child due to some reasons.
One day, when I got a chance, I asked Prasanna, “Do you know who plays the best Hockey, here?”
”Arun”, was the response without even a slightest of the doubt.
“If you ask me, it is you! Whether you believe in me or not, but according to me, it’s YOU!!”, I shot back at him.
Prasanna had no expression on his face. He just couldn’t believe it.
5 years later, Prasanna is indeed the best Hockey Player at the academy. He has started climbing the ladder with the dream of achieving the national colours one day. He has graduated from his school and the school is proud to have him as his student. He doesn’t sledge anymore.”
My little story was over.
I asked the packed assembly,”Why I told you this story was the fact that in all of us, there is a Prasanna. Often we fail to work hard on a daily basis. But the more we try, the more we have a chance to succeed. So, keep trying and keep encouraging others whom you see are trying. Be a support to your friends and never discourage them.”
Those were my last lines at Vivekanada HSS, Lawspet, Pondicherry.
Developing sustained passion for Hockey by introduction of Hockey to pre and early teenaged children and simultaneously promoting playing sport as a culture and tradition, thereby contributing to develop a sports loving society.