9 months later
In October 2020, Baton of Hope teamed up with HeroMotoCorp to provide financial support to 9 badminton players from across the country to purchase sporting equipment.
In June 2021, we asked our athletes for an update on their situation, and were completely blown away by their achievements.
Mokshita is an Under-11 player from Jodhpur, Rajasthan whose achievements will blow your mind!
arati janoba patil
Arati Patil is a specially-abled daughter of a construction laborer from Sohlapur. She started playing badminton at the age of 16 and has been playing for almost a decade now.
Ever since Arati was born, everyone questioned her capabilities. They said that she would always be a liability because she was a girl and because she was specially-abled. Arati chose to prove everyone wrong by succeeding in sports. Arati trains six hours a day and is ranked 2nd in India in para-badminton, and 18th in the world.
Arati aspires to win a medal at the Olympic level, and the work she puts into the sport is completely in sync with that! Arati was inspired to start playing badminton because of her mother. She is very inspired by PV Sindhu, and has even had the honor of meeting her in person!
Despite her long list of achievements, Arati has faced immense difficulties in following her dream because there are no funds in Para Sports. In fact, to fund her trip to international tournaments, her mother had to sell her ‘mangal sutra’. She is exactly the kind of person we at Baton of Hope are here to support.
We’ve realized how talented Arati is, and hope to be part of her journey as she becomes a true champion, and inspires millions!
Elvision is a senior player from Gangtok, Sikkim. Badminton has been a major part of Elvision’s life. Elvision started playing badminton at the ripe age of 7 and has been playing the sport for over a decade now.
Badminton has been a constant in Elvision’s life since and has been there for him through thick and thin. Elvision too has given his life to the sport, and trains 7 hours a day. Such commitment is truly special, and something we at Baton of Hope really value.
Elvision is inspired by the world renown player, Kento Momota, and aspires to become World Rank 1 in badminton one day. He is inspired to play badminton by his father, who is equally invested in Elvision’s dream.
Elvision dreams big, but the conditions he was born in did not favor him. At one point, the only source of income for his family was the government provided MGNREGA scheme, which was far from enough to support a sports career. Elvision faced addition trouble due to the lack of sports facilities and funding in the North- East.
With the help of this financial aid from Baton of Hope, Elvision will now be able to pursue sports despite the unfavourable circumstances.
Chandan is a 17- year- old badminton player from New Delhi. He is already one of the capital city’s top players, and has numerous accolades in his name, including a State Level Championship title.
Chandan lost his parents at a young age, and ever since then, he has faced numerous hardships, financially and otherwise. Since then, badminton has been a huge part of his life, and he has given his hundred percent to the sport.
Chandan trains under the expert guidance of ex-international champion, Madhumita Bisht, and he has a knack for doubles. He has been playing since the age of 14, and like many others, is inspired by Olympic silver medalist, PV Sindhu.
For his commitment, drive and determination, he deserves the world. We expect him to do great things in the future!
Vibhu is a badminton player from Gurgaon and has been playing badminton for almost four years. He is a state level player, and has faced significant difficulties in pursuit of sporsts. Vibhu’s father is a farmer, and like our other players, Vibhu too comes from a humble background. However, his coach and mentor, ex-international champion, Dinesh Chaudhry supports him at every step of the way.
“The sport itself inspired me a lot, which is why I started taking it seriously. And my coach Dinesh Sir also inspired me, and was my pillar of support” he says.
Vibhu has been training about 6-7 hours a day for almost 4 years now and aspires to make his country proud one day, just as his idol Kidambi Srikanth has. However, his dream in sports is not restricted to just being a professional player. He also sees it as a source of employment and economic upliftment.
We hope to provide Vibhu with all the support he requires in his journey.
Farhan Khan is a player from Gwalior. He started playing badminton at the young age of 10, and has been giving his life to it since then. For him, badminton is more than just a sport. It’s an outlet.
He idolizes Tiger Woods for both his commitment and his success despite his struggles. Farhan can relate to Woods to a great extent because just like Woods, he too, faced bullying due to his ethnicity and religion.
“In school or among my friends, I was always bullied because I belong to a minority religion and that always disturbs me.
When I play; when I step on court, I feel fearless. I feel like the game distinguishes me from the common population,” he says.
Farhan certainly has distinguished himself from other teenagers! He trains for 6 hours a day and puts an extra 2 hours of work into his physical fitness. He aims to become the 2021 national champion. His ultimate goal is to win an Olympic medal. “I do not want to live the usual life that everyone lives, I want to live my life by following my passion and making my dreams come true,” he says.
Farhan comes from a humble family, and hardly had the money for basic survival, much less expensive sporting equipment. With these funds, he can buy proper shoes and even a good quality racquet, and play without worrying.
Ankit is a zonal level badminton player from New Delhi. He has been playing for 3 years and fell in love with badminton during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Soon, he was selected as a part of his school team to participate at the zonal level. His school lost that match because of him, and he was extremely disappointed. From then onwards, he has been determined to prove himself in the sport.
He did his own research to find himself a suitable academy, but after finding out the costs involved, he almost gave up. He came from a humble background and that much expenditure was impossible for his family.
He then met his mentor and idol, Rohit Singh, who motivated him and supported him. “When Rohit Singh came into my life, he changed me; he changed my game and everything,” he says.
Today, Ankit trains 3-4 hours a day, and one day hopes to make India proud by winning the All England Championship, just like his idols Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand have in the past.
He works hard to support that dream, and we hope that our support will make it easier for him to achieve his goals.
Suryakant Yadav is a para-badminton player from New Delhi. He started playing at the age of fourteen and has beat the odds to continue playing the sport competitively since.
Suryakant is 40% disabled and has a locomotive disability known as hemaparisis. Despite these circumstances, Suryakant has many accolades in his name.
He has represented Delhi at the Para-Badminton Nationals and has been winning zonal tournaments for the past four years.
Suryakant trains 4 hours a day and aims to be as great a player as two times Olympic silver medalist, Lee Chong Wei.
Suryakant, apart from his disability, also has to face financial barriers while pursuing badminton. We hope that we will be able to support Suryakant as he works towards making history in Para Sports. He is truly an inspiration to all of us!
Srija is a sub-junior player from Patna, Bihar and has been playing badminton competitively since the age of 5. She aspires to become the next female world champion, just like her idols PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin.
Srija grew up watching her seniors play, and wanted to become like them herself. She puts in the work for that, and plays badminton 4 hours a day, in addition to fitness training.
Srija has many accolades in her name, despite her young age. She has been a pre-quarterfinalist at National Ranking tournaments, and has been winning the Patna Under-13 category for the past three years.
Srija too, faced financial constraints while pursuing badminton, because of a lack of funding in Junior-level sports.
She may be young, but she has a commendable amount of grit and willpower, and we hope to help her channel that so that she can achieve new levels of greatness and make the future of women’s sport in India.