Janwaar. Beyond Skateboarding.

ulrikereinhard

Skate. Educate. Build community.<br>These are the pillars of Janwaar Castle – the greatest skatepark you’ve never heard of. In the small village of Janwaar, India, the skateboard is more than four wheels and a board. Here it is a vehicle for social change, gender equality, and education. Unlike our first book in which the changemakers themselves told their stories of change, our new book presents the changes we see and the impacts we have in this hamlet Janwaar, which go far beyond skateboarding. The two lead articles are written by the well-known journalists Doris Eichmeier, Munich, Germany and Shail Desai, Mumbai, India.

The book is trilingual. German, English in Hindi. It also includes 100 pages of photos with short stories.

Format: 195 × 135 mm
Pages: 208, Paperback

Janwaar. Beyond Skateboarding

Bea Gschwend / Ulrike Reinhard




rural-changemakers.com


Der Verein The Rural Changemakers

gem. e.V. wurde 2018 gegründet und

hat seinen Sitz in Berlin. Der Zweck

des Vereins ist die Förderung der

Jugendhilfe, Erziehung, Volks- und

Berufsbildung und der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

sowie die Förderung

internationaler Gesinnung, der Toleranz

auf allen Gebieten der Kultur

und des Völkerverständigungsgedankens.

Der Satzungszweck wird verwirklicht

ins besondere durch die

Planung, Durchführung und Betreuung

interdisziplinärer Projekte mit

und für die Kinder und Jugendliche

in ländlichen Gebieten und Dörfern

in Indien.

The Rural Changemakers gem. e.V.

is a not-for-profit association based in

Berlin where it was founded in 2018.

Its purpose is to support youth welfare,

education, vocational training

and cooperation in the field of development

aid, as well as to promote an

international ethos, tolerance in all

areas of cultural life, and understanding

among nations. In particular,

its aims are realised through the planning,

execution, and supervision of

interdisciplinary projects with, and

for, children and young people in the

rural areas and villages of India.

n :jy psatesdlZ bZ-oh- ,d xSj&ykHkdkjh laLFkk

gS ftls 2018 esa cfyZu esa LFkkfir fd;k x;k FkkA

bldk mís”; ;qok dY;k.k] f”k{kk] O;kolkf;d

çf”k{k.k vkSj fodkl lgk;rk ds {ks= esa lg;ksx

ds lkFk&lkFk varjjk’Vªh; yksdkpkj rFkk

lfg’.kqrk dh le> dks lkaL—frd thou ds lHkh

{ks=ksa rFkk jk’Vªksa ds chp c<+kok nsuk gSaA fo”ks’k

:i ls blds vuqPNsnksa dk mís”; Hkkjr ds xk¡oksa

vkSj xzkeh.k {ks=ksa esa cPpksa vkSj ;qokvksa ds lkFk

var%fo”k; ifj;kstukvksa dk vk;kstu] fØ;kUo;u

vkSj i;Zos{k.k djuk gSA



Janwaar. Beyond Skateboarding

Bea Gschwend / Ulrike Reinhard


8


Seite 8: Das ist eine Luftaufnahme von Janwaar. Janwaar ist ein 1200 Seelen-

Dorf im Nordwesten von Madhya Pradesh in Zentral-Indien. Es ist 600 km

von Delhi und 1200 km von Mumbai entfernt. Seit 2015 gibt es dort einen

Skatepark. Die Dorfkinder wurden unter dem Namen „Barefoot Skateboarders“

weit über die Grenzen Indiens hinaus bekannt. Skateboarding hat ihr

Leben in vielerlei Hinsicht verändert.

Page 8: This is an aerial photograph of Janwaar. Janwaar is a 1200-soul village

in north-western Madhya Pradesh in Central India. From Janwaar it’s 600

kilometres to Delhi and 1200 kilometres to Mumbai. In 2015 skateboarding

was introduced to this village. Over the years Janwaar’s children became

well-known under the name ”The Barefoot Skateboarders“, way beyond

India’s borders. Skateboarding has changed significantly the lives of these

children.

Page 8: vkdk”k ls yh xbZ ;s rLohj tuokj xkao dh gSA e/; çns”k jkT; ds mÙkj&if”pe esa

fLFkr tuokj 1]200 fuokflvksa dk xkao gSA ;s e/; Hkkjr dk Hkkx gSA tuokj ls fnYyh 600

fd-eh- vkSj eqacbZ 1]200 fd-eh- dh nwjh ij gSA bl xkao esa LdsVcksfMaZx dh “kq#vkr o’kZ 2015 esa

gqbZ FkhA fiNys dqN o’kksaZ esa tuokj ds cPpksa vkSj ;qokvksa us viuh igpku Hkkjr ds lkFk&lkFk

dbZ ns”kksa esa cuk yh gS ;s vc ^^n cs,jQqV LdsVcksMZjl^^ ds uke ls tkus tkrs gSaA LdsVcksfMaZx

us bu cPpksa dh ftUnxh dks mYys[kuh;

Photo page 8: Divy Bhagia

9


content

Editorial 10

Janwaar: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Identität 14

Shail Desai

Unser Skatepark – die Sprungrampe in ein neues Leben 54

Doris Eichmeier

Fototeil 88

Janwaar 90

Panna 108

Barefoot Skateboarders Organization 124

Villa Janwaar 132

Homestays 142

Frauen in Janwaar 148

Die Dorfältesten 164

Prakriti School 178

Open School Projekt 186

Fotonachweis 201

Impressum 213

10


Editorial 10

Janwaar: Discovering a New Identity 14

Shail Desai

Our Skatepark – the Vert Ramp to a New Life 54

Doris Eichmeier

Photo Section 88

Janwaar 90

Panna 108

Barefoot Skateboarders Organization 124

Villa Janwaar 132

Homestays 142

Women in Janwaar 148

The Elders 164

Prakriti School 178

Open School Project 186

Photo Index 201

Imprint 213

Laikndh; 10

tuokj% ,d ubZ igpku dh [kkst 14

Shail Desai

gekjk LdsVikdZ & oVZ jSai ls ,d u, thou dh vkSj 54

Doris Eichmeier

QksVks vuqHkkx 88

Tkuokj 90

iUuk 108

cs;jQwV LdsVcksMZlZ vksxZukbts”ku 124

foyk tuokj 132

gkse LVs 142

tuokj dh efgyk, 148

cMs cqtqxZ 164

izfdZfr Ldwy 178

vksiu Ldwy izkstsDV 187

QksVks lwpd 201

Nki 213

11


Janwaar.

Beyond Skateboarding

Axel Pfennigschmidt /

Andreas Schulten / Berlin

Members of the Board

The Rural Changemakers gem. e.V.

www.rural-changemakers.com

Vor unserer Reise nach Janwaar im Februar 2020, hatten

wir Bilder im Kopf von einem Dorf, dessen Alltag seit

Generationen in festen Bahnen verläuft. Uns war klar,

dass der Skatepark für Unruhe gesorgt hat. Ist das Leben

der Dorfbewohner dadurch aber wirklich ein anderes

geworden?

Diese Frage wurde uns vor Ort schnell beantwortet. Denn

aus den ersten Kids auf Skateboards sind Schüler mit

vielfältigen Erfahrungen im In- und Ausland geworden.

Von deren Ideen und konkreten Plänen profitiert nun das

ganze Dorf. Mütter managen Homestays und werden bald

Heidelberg besuchen. Väter helfen beim Bau weiterer

Skateparks in anderen Dörfern. Es gibt Internet. Und zwei

Jugendliche verkaufen selbstgefertigte Tonskulpturen –

made in Art Ichol.

Das alles war für uns spannend und anregend. Nicht nur

der Skatepark und all die Impulse ändern Janwaar, auch

unsere Sichtweise auf das, was eine kleine Initiative

Großes in Gang setzen kann, hat sich geändert. Wir

bleiben dran.

12


Before we left for Janwaar in February 2020, we pictured

it as a sleepy little village where things hadn’t changed for

generations. We knew that the skatepark had disrupted the

life of the village. But had it really changed the lives of the

villagers themselves?

Once there, we didn’t have to wait long for an answer. We

quickly realised that the skateboarders had turned into

students enriched by a trove of experience from all that

they’d seen in India and abroad. Today the whole village

benefits from their ideas and savvy plans. Mothers are

managing homestays and will soon be flying to Heidelberg.

Fathers are helping to build skateparks in other rural villages.

There’s internet, and two of the youngsters are selling

clay sculptures which they make themselves – made in

Art Ichol.

All of this was enthralling and a source of deep inspiration

for both of us. The skatepark, and all the impulses that

radiate from it, is not only changing Janwaar, it is also

changing our view of how a tiny intervention can set something

far larger in motion. We’ll stay tuned.

Qjojh 2020 esa tuokj tkus ls igys geus lkspk Fkk fd oks ç—fr dh xksn

esa clk ,d “kkar vkSj lkSE; xkao gksxk tgk¡ lfn;ksa ls dqN ugha cnyk

gksxkA gesa ;s ,glkl Fkk fd LdsVikdZ us tuokj xkao dh ftUnxh dks

ges”kk ds fy, cny fn;k Fkk ij D;k LdsVikdZ us xkaWo okfl;ksa dh ftUnxh

cnyhA

tuokj igq¡p dj gesa mldk mrj feyus esa nsj ugha yxhA tuokj ds

mRlkgh ;qok LdsVcksZMlZ ¼LdsfVax cksMZ ij jiVus okys½ Hkkjr vkSj nqfu;k

Hkj ds dbZ ns”k ls tqVk, vius vuqHkoksa ds dkj.k vc lEiu vkSj çpqj

f”k{kkFkhZ gks pqds FksA vkt lewpk tuokj xkao muds u, fopkjksa] le> cw>

ls ij[kh ;kstukvksaa dk ykHk mBkr gSA bu mRlkgh ;qokvksa dh ekrk,¡ vc

?kjksa esa vfFkfrxzg pyrh gSaA bues ls dqN efgyk¡, tYn gh gkbMsycxZ dh

;k=k ds fy, vk,¡xhA bu ;qokvksa ds firk nwljs xzkeh.k {ks=ksa esa u,

LdsVikdZ cukus esa tqVs gSaA tuokj vkSj blds vkl ikl ds bykdksa esa vc

baVjusV dh lqfo/kk Hkh gSA bl ;qokvksa ds lewg esa ls nks ;qok vkVZ bpkSy

xzke laLFkk ls ifjf”k{k.k ik dj feêh dh ewfrZ;k¡ vkSj çfrek,a cuk dj

cspus yxs gSaA

ge nksuksa ds fy, tuokj esa ;s lc dj ikuk cgqr gh fnypLi vkSj vfr

çsj.kknk;d gSA LdsVikdZ ds çHkko ls vk;h u;h meax us u dsoy tuokj

ds thou dks cnyk gS ijUrq bl gLr{ksi us ;s lkfcr dj fn;k gS fd bd

NksVh ls igy cgqr cM+k cnyko yk ldrh gSA tqM+s jfg;s] ge bls vHkh

vkSj vkxs ;s tk;saxsA

13


Janwaar

Janwaar is a small hamlet four

kilometres off Panna-Satna

road. 1200 people live there –

the Yadav caste and Adivasi.

There is hardly any electricity

in the village, no sanitation and

only recently a young doctor

opened a medical practice

which is rather badly equipped.

13 years ago a government

school opened its doors; today

the kids can pass 8th grade in

the village, then they have to

go to another town for further

education. The quality of

education is meagre – but at

least there is a school. There

is no rush in Janwaar, life is

rather laid back and people

enjoy the here and now.

90


Geeta Yadav on her way to

her cattle. The stable is just

opposite of her house. She and

her family have the largest

herd of cattle in the village,

and live in the ”posh“ area of

Janwaar.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

91


Geeta Yadav milking one of

her buffalos. They give milk

twice a day. Her husband

Anand Singh Yadav (see

opposite page) brings the milk

every day to Panna. Selling

milk is an important source

of income for them.

Their youngest son, Ajeet,

is participating in the Open

School Project (see pages

186-199).

Photo: Makarand Ranavde

92


Anand Singh Yadav, husband

of Geeta Yadav, after milking

the buffalos. He is riding every

day on his motorbike to Panna

to sell the milk. Two or three

canisters are magically fixed

(Indian Jugaad) at his motorbike

– filled with milk. He sells

one litre for 40 Indian Rupees

(4.50 Euros).

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

93


The soil in and around

Janwaar is not very fertile.

This is a field in November.

It usually should have wheat.

But farming in Janwaar is

a challenge – year by year.

Many fields lie fallow – either

because of the lack of rain

or cost for labour. The main

crops are: wheat, lentil,

mustard, black gram and a

little bit of rice. During the

monsoons people grow sesame

seeds and various vegetables.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

94


Pahalvan Yadav owns a flock

of goats. For his family, goats

are an important source of

income – they milk them and

sell the young goats.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

95


A typical lane in the Adivasi

part of the village.

The water in the street

comes from the water pump.

This water body is always

there – it is a breeding place

for mosqitos and many

other bacterias which cause

Malaria and other diseases.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

96


A little girl carrying buckets

of water. Carrying water

is the job of the girls and the

ladies. Needless to say that

this is hard work because the

buckets are heavy. During

the hot season (April – June)

sometimes they have to walk

far in the heat of the day to

reach a water pump that still

provides water.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

97


Children are happily playing

in the Adivasi part of Janwaar.

They usually play in small

groups, still mostly separated

by caste. They rarely “mix” –

only at the skatepark and at

the Villa Janwaar the different

castes come together. Since

there are no toys available

they come up with very

innovative ”toys“ and games.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

98


Liddhee Adivasi taking a

bath at the water pump right

next to the lake (see next two

pages). Very few houses in

Janwaar have a bathroom.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

99


Sunrise at the lake in Janwaar.

The lake is the water reservoir

for the village. It is surrounded

by very old trees which provide

a pleasant shade during the

hot summer days. There is

always a breeze at the lake.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

100


Early morning on the field

track along the lake in

Janwaar. The track leads to

the Doolha Dev Temple – a

temple where the villagers

come to worship. The villagers

tell a myth about the lake and

the temple. They say in the

early days a royal couple

drowned in the lake and this

determined which caste could

live and survive in Janwaar.

One of our kids, Anil Kumar,

has written a story about

this.

Photo: Aslam Saiyad

101


Hetsingh and his wife Gyaan

Yadav are sitting in the

courtyard of their house,

cleaning peas. Hetsingh was

the Sarpanch of Janwaar

(a sarpanch is a decisionmaker,

elected by the villagelevel

constitutional body of

local self-government called

the Gram Sabha in India).

The couple has three sons

and they live with their

families all in the same household

– three generations

under one roof. They are

living in the ”posh“ part of

Janwaar. One of their sons

is Veer Singh – he is our

landlord at the Villa (see

page 138) and from him

we’ve also leased the land

on which the second skatepark

is built.

Photo: Maninder Singh

102


Lalla Bai and Gond Bai – both

Adivasi ladies – sitting in their

courtyard. It’s a very typical

posture. Both of them are hard

working women – they go in

the forest to collect wood (what

they actually should not do:

getting into the forest and

cutting wood is forbidden) and

sell it in Panna. It’s a couple of

hours work, long walks included

(at least 14 kilometres) – and

they get badly paid for it.

They hardly make 200 Indian

Rupees per load, which is less

than Euros 3.

Photo: Arun Kumar

103


Jamie Fullerton, a journalist

from the UK, with Seglal

Adivasi, on a walk through

the jungles. Seglal loves to take

the guests who are coming to

Janwaar for a jungle tour.

During these tours the guests

learn a lot about the trees and

bushes of the jungle – what is

eatable and what not. If they

are lucky they will see a tiger

or bear; they will certainly

come across some snakes.

Photo: Matjaž Tančič

104


Siya Bai being interviewed

and filmed by Danny Schmidt,

a film maker from Salt Lake

City, USA. Arun Kumar was

translating the questions.

Danny is planning a short

documentary on our work in

Janwaar. He was planning

to return to the village in

March 2020 to shoot more –

but then the Corona virus hit.

Photo: Ulrike Reinhard

105


The Janwaar kids were cast

by a Mumbai film team for

the movie ”Desert Dolphin“ –

a story based on our story in

Janwaar. The drama was

directed by Manjari Makijany,

a young director from

Mumbai, now living and being

married in Hollywood, USA.

Photos: Vinati Makijany

106


107



If you wish to support our

work please contact us via:

hello@rural-changemakers.com

Or make directly a contribution to:

The Rural Changemakers e.V.

Berliner Sparkasse

IBAN: DE44 1005 0000 0190 7388 98

BIC: BELADEBEXXX



1. Edition 2020

Copyright:

The Rural Changemakers e.V.

Hauptstraße 17

10827 Berlin

Germany

www.rural-changemakers.com

hello@rural-changemakers.com

Idea and Concept:

Ulrike Reinhard

Layout:

Bea Gschwend

Printed in India.




rural-changemakers.com

Photo: Matjaž Tančič

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