Developing communities with Tennis as a medium of change

Lenin Nagar, a small community in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh is one of the several hamlets in India that have been disregarded by mainstream society. This place which consists primarily of immigrants from the neighbouring districts of Anantapur, in Andhra Pradesh, with a reputation of being burglars. A major populace of Lenin Nagar works in Anantapur as domestic help or as daily wage labourers at a brick kiln to earn a living. Very few of their children attend daily schools, hence forgoing a proper education and missing out on participating regularly in organised sports.

tennis-transforming-lives-through-sports-tennis-lenin-nagar-dilipIn 2010, Rural Development Trust (RDT) in collaboration with Rafa Nadal Foundation (RNF) introduced the Nadal Education and Tennis School (NETS) to the children of Anantapur, supporting their educational and sporting ambitions. One such beneficiary of NETS is Dilip Verma, a bright, enthusiastic child from Lenin Nagar, whose parents work locally as domestic help. The NETS program has brought about a significant change in his daily life by continually aiding in his intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities.

Dilip, first joined the program through a summer camp in 2012. The NETS not only introduced him to sport through Tennis, but gave him the opportunity to learn English and Computers, while providing him a nutritious meal after each session.

Talents are seen in abundance at the NETS. But Dilip, currently studying in class 4 at Vengamanaidu Colony School, Lenin Nagar is the most talented of the lot. He exudes discipline and passion like no other, quickly grabbing eyeballs. In addition to being the best Tennis player around, he has taken up the responsibility of leading his peers as well.

Confidence and exuberance have replace a shy and rigid attitude as this young lad looks to wholeheartedly serve his community. Dilip says, “I want to be a gentleman, a role model for my community and nurture budding Tennis athletes from his region in the future”.

RDT have brought forth a change in the mind-set of the children and more importantly the people of Lenin Nagar through Tennis. They now believe that sports can also aid in their holistic development. As Dilip’s mother puts it “What I like most about the program is seeing my child doing and wanting to excel in what he truly enjoys, while simultaneously getting the opportunity to develop important skills such as English and Computers.” RDT through its sporting initiatives, have been able to forge a healthy relationship with the local communities while bringing about positive social change. They continue to be a pillar of strength for many disadvantaged people in and around the district of Anantapur.