At 16, Deepika is determined to make something of her life. She wants to be a leader, inspire others and play netball professionally.
Newly selected as a Goal Champion, Deepika came into Goal in Chennai a year ago, very shy and lacking in initiative. However, in the last year, she has not only picked up the game really well and made friends with girls from other age groups, but also assists the coaches whenever possible. As the coaches were stretched with multiple sessions at all the Goal sites, she took it upon herself to train the team from her site, to play in the International Netball tournament held in Chennai in December 2010! Deepika is determined to excel in netball, play tournaments, and teach it to others
The coaches and Goal staff have noticed her natural leadership abilities, and the way she is able to instill the same confidence in others, even though she comes from very humble family background. Her father is an autorickshaw driver, and the sole wage earner in the family. Deepika has a younger sister, whom she hopes to be a role model for.
It isn’t only the sport that inspires her. She quickly absorbs all the information in the life skills sessions too! In her words, “I would like to say that Goal Classes are the best! These classes are very useful in learning about taking care of our environment, hygiene, how to control our anger, and how to communicate and behave with others. I really like these classes.”
Not only have her friends and the Goal facilitators and coaches noticed these changes in her, but she has seen the change in herself: “Earlier I used to speak my mind to everyone, without wondering if it might hurt them. But now, I have learnt to think before I speak. I also learnt not to keep thinking about what we don’t like about ourselves, or our shortcomings, rather to think about what all we have and make the most of it.”
In June, Deepika goes to the 12th grade, and will have to put in a lot of hours studying and the program staff wondered if she would be able to do justice to being a Goal Champion as the academic pressure would be immense. However, her father came up to the team and assured them of his support- saying that he will be proud to send her to the Goal sessions, and even drop her and pick her up himself, in his auto!
Aspiring for a great career Deepika says “I want to become a software engineer. I want to work, and help others. Especially the aged. If I earn well, I will give some donation from that to an old age home.”