Meet Atita Verghese, India’s first Professional Female Skateboarder. When she was in school, her teachers used to think of her as a failure. According to them, she was a kid who could negatively influence other kids of the school. They never really cared about trying to change her or make her learn somehow but concluded that she is a lost cause.
She says “Schools hardly try to understand the needs of an individual child and definitely fails to open up a young mind to its full potential. Instead, they do the exact opposite to grow one human into a confused human. I am a fan of learning but not schools”
THE JOURNEY of Atita Verghese
Many successful people in the world would tell you that they took the path less traveled. And, Atita’s journey was no different. Named as the black sheep of her community by the relatives, she was a rebel who never backed down. Like her mother who was an acid attack survivor, she explored the inspiration inside her and was courageous enough to go against the odds.
When she was in class 3, she was doing all the things which the boys were doing and probably even more. After finishing high school, her family did not have enough money to send her to college, so she took an year off and that’s when she fell in love with skateboarding. She was 19 when she took up the sport and after 3 years of professional skateboarding, she realized that she was learning at a rate which she never experienced in school. Naturally, she wanted other girls to know about it and participate, so she made it her life’s mission. In her interview with PTI, she says
Go to any skateboarding park in the world, you will barely see any girls practising the sport. I don’t see girls, my age or older, take up the sport. I am trying to figure out why and will do what I can to change the scene.
Her mission started with the help of HolyStoked Collective in 2014 with Girls Skate India, a platform to connect women skateboarders in India. Her simple idea is to teach girls how to skate and build ramps. And, with that significant step, she is inspiring women all across India to break the convention.
She was also invited for a TEDX talk to speak about her life and idea of the mission. Listen her own words and another such inspiration is Khushi – The football Champion.