Netravati’s road to empowerment

Netravati,19 joined the OSCAR Foundation in 2017 and is currently an OSCAR Young Leader. She lives with her mother and sister in the low income, Badhwar Park Community in Mumbai. Her father died when she was 2 months old. Her mother works as a housekeeper and is a pillar of strength. 

“The OSCAR football and education programmes have really helped me develop my confidence and leadership skills. I had no idea football could help build crucial life skills.” 

Keen to share all she learnt as a beneficiary of the OSCAR programmes, Netravati became a Young Leader, with a mission to enrol girls from her community for football and life skills sessions. Lack of money and resources are huge barriers but society’s attitude towards girls are far greater.  

Netravati said,“People have accused me of revealing my body because I wear shorts. They say I’ve been corrupted and will now corrupt the minds of young children in my community. On top of this, people are divided on religious lines.”

Weaving through deep rooted and complex beliefs is very challenging but Netravati says young girls in her community want to fight for their right to play and learn. Today, she runs her own team of girls, teaches football and gender life skills and has taken the unprecedented step of enrolling a transgender person.

The harsh reality and hardships of life in the community have taken a toll on Netravati’s education.

“I was enrolled in an NIIT course with OSCAR’s education programme, but it clashed with the water collection timings for our community. I had to give up my place to ensure my family had water every day,”

This disappointment will not deter Netravati, who plans to enrol again and remains determined to provide for her family and continue to be a role model in her community.

Netravati is now working for OSCAR as a part time coach whilst pursuing her graduation. Over the last two years she’s reached out to over 70 adolescent girls in the communities of Colaba and become a role model OSCAR is very proud of.

Leave a Reply