Yusra Khan, Yellow Streets working with underprivileged children and youth in Delhi
Yusra Khan, Class of 2018, shares her journey of establishing Yellow Streets working with underprivileged children and youth in Delhi.
Children and youth have the grit to excel, ever since I began working with low-income communities, I have reflected deeply on the contrasting realities of a privileged lifestyle vs the others. My focus organically shifted to the skills and potential that each child had inherited or had developed with time. I started the enterprise to offer a robust support system to the underprivileged children and youth. I did this by integrating sports (Rugby) and contemporary learning frameworks. Apart from contesting at the national and international levels, these players are leading social change initiatives within their communities.
I met Kishan, 12 years old during my journey who lives under a flyover in South Delhi whose father is a daily wage labourer and mother, a domestic help. Born third, out of his five siblings, his parents couldn’t afford basic amenities including appropriate shelter, education and decent health and wellbeing.
Their earlier engagement with some non-profits helped them understand their fundamental rights and entitlements, which motivated Kishan to access formal education. He was the first out of the siblings to join a formal education system. He started playing Rugby three years ago and believes that the game has taught him to be patient, considerate and empathetic to others.
While growing up amongst other siblings, Kishan hardly thought of nurturing dreams or building his identity as he grew up in extreme poverty conditions, where survival took precedence. Most of the children were malnourished and had no documentation – birth certificate, Aadhaar or any vaccination cards.
After engaging with for three years, his life has a new meaning. Kishan now aspires to become an International Rugby Player, a dream further enhanced after his visit to Japan in 2019 to witness the grand Rugby World Cup, thanks to the life-changing learning excursion supported by Societe Generale and Indian Rugby Federation.
He said, “I knew that my future was in labour work just like my father when I grow up. Education was not a priority, and I wasn’t aware that sports also existed for poor people like me. While playing with my friends, I used to look up at the sky and saw planes flying away, but I never dreamt of being in one by acing a sport I never heard of.”
“My experience of mentoring Yusra was inverse. She is amazingly committed, clear and passionate about her dream and works sincerely and relentlessly to achieve her goals. The wellness and happines of her children matter the most to her. Over time, she has built a strong team to support her, and this team is always innovating and finding a better way of achieving their goals. I’ve also seen the confidence and wellbeing of her children move upwards. I think, as a Mentor, I have built a meaningful lifelong relationship with her. It is working with such dreamers and guiding them to be systematic, strong and resilient in their not-so-common path, that SSE India fills the gap in the social landscape in India.” Suchita Sharma, Mentor and Partner, Price Waterhouse
“As a Mentor at SSE, I have made friends with some great young people who are traversing a journey of hardship and ambition with newfound confidence and knowledge (at SSE India). I have seen how they have transformed over the nine months and learnt to deal with any challenge whatsoever.