Thane: An eight-year old Arunima Nautiyal is feeling elated while receiving the Yellow Belt in Karate, a popular martial arts form and aspires to become a Black Belt in Karate in another 5 years. A local NGO named Gokul Shanti Welfare Association (GSWA) is today nurturing young talent not only in Karate but in Indian dance forms like Kathak and sports activities like Skating and that too “Free of Cost”. GSWA is dedicated towards transforming the society in achieving the societal goals like Children Education and Cultural Development nationally and globally.
GSWA conducts classes on Yoga, Taekwondo, Karate, Kathak, Guitar, Bollywood Dance, Balsanskar Pathshala and Skating Free of Cost. It is also working towards the most burning issues of the society like social justice, sustainable development and human rights.
“This success story in the form of GSWA scripted 5 years ago bears relevance because it is done solely out of the passion to nurture young under-privileged children who can’t bear the heavy cost of coaching classes, which may range anywhere between Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 per month. There are several coaching classes locally which are today luring gullible parents to cough up a good amount of money as they wish their child to accomplish his or her dreams. The most important aspects of our training sessions are that we expect discipline and punctuality from parents and students. Besides this, our sessions on Yoga have benefitted many people and students medically,” says Santosh Banawalikar, president of GSWA.
Banawalikar further adds, “It took us five years to be able to serve the society with the purpose to do something in terms of nation building. Our young budding stars are inspiring us every day to create history just as we Indians created with India's Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission. We are today catering to more than 200 youngsters and still counting."
A social obligation
Banawalikar who is also a senior government official says that the efforts made by GSWA are a social obligation and our students who excel in their respective fields will be our returns on investments. Our students recently brought laurels to GSWA by participating at the 7th Inter District Kempo Championship -2023 at Andheri in Mumbai. We now aspire to shine in national and international championships.
Activities helping train young minds
According to a volunteer of GSWA, Sharmila Shetty says that these activities are helping train young minds in their formative years. This is giving them the opportunity to realize and unleash their true potential with the help of such training in the form of dance, music and martial arts.
Dhurva Ghunge, another student feeling ecstatic while receiving her coveted Yellow Karate belt shares that she enjoys the rigorous Karate training as her dreams are bigger than her physical and mental exercises, which tests her mental and physical agility.
Echoing her views, a parent named Babita Nautiyal remarks that Karate, Kathak and Skating activities are giving her child the mind-body balance to excel in her studies as well. This will go a long way in building my daughter’s personality. GSWA activities are really significant because every parent wants the right kind of parenting which has, however, lately been commercialized.