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Donor Feature: Meet Chirag Sapra from Newyork

Some might say, “He has done it all!”. Graduating from one of India’s most esteemed engineering colleges, studying at a prominent Ivy League business school and finally thriving as an investment professional in the U.S. So naturally, on the surface, Chirag’s life might appear to be in stark contrast to that of the children that our organization works with. But delve deeper and you’ll discover hidden passions he continues to pursue. Shaped by his experiences, and because of his shared love for fitness and sports, Chirag has been a dedicated and continued supporter of our football program for several years.

He credits his childhood for shaping his commitment to social causes. Growing up, Chirag spent 15 years in the small town of Mankapur in Uttar Pradesh. Witnessing firsthand, the limitations imposed by gender stereotypes and the challenges faced by underprivileged children, instilled in him a deep desire to make a difference.

Sports have always held a special place in Chirag’s life. During his school days, he actively pursued cricket, basketball, and badminton. Through his involvement in the Bharat Scouts and Guides for about 5 years, he also engaged in various adventure sporting opportunities such as white-water river rafting, skiing, and hiking. This love for physical activity continued into college, where he embraced bodybuilding and related fitness routines that remain an integral part of his daily life today.

This formative experience taught him the significance of the transformative power of sports, such as football, particularly for underprivileged children.  Chirag recognizes its potential to be both a teacher and an escape that offers valuable life lessons and a welcome outlet for children facing challenges and limited resources.

It’s no surprise then, that when the opportunity arose to support our program, Chirag didn’t hesitate. He now financially supports a team of 5th graders from Baglan Education Society’s  English Medium School in Satana, a small town near Nashik in Maharashtra, not quite different from the one he grew up in.

But why Enabling Leadership? Chirag’s background in the professional world and his keen observations offer valuable insights. He has noted the crucial role soft skills play in workplace success, emphasising the importance of teamwork in today’s world. According to him, even exceptional job-specific skills fall short without the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with your team. Beyond this, Chirag highlights the growing emphasis employers place on “cultural fit” during the job hiring process. He believes critical skills like the ability to work in a team, observe patience, and demonstrate grit are not typically learned nor explicitly taught in a traditional classroom. Similar to language proficiency, these skills are best acquired and honed during one’s formative years, making programs like ours even more pivotal.

In a world where empathy often falls short of tangible support, Chirag recognizes the difficulty of translating feelings into concrete action. He admires our team’s dedication and persistence and deeply appreciates our passion and commitment to empower these children to dream freely – an idea he wholeheartedly champions.

Chirag resonates with a simple thought: “Always dream as if you’re never going to fail.” He is living proof of how sports like football foster self-discovery in children, helping them understand their aspirations. He emphasizes that once children start dreaming, they’ll eventually find the path to making it their reality. It won’t be long before they go beyond what once might’ve felt like an “audacious” dream and transform their life and those around them.  After all, every journey begins with a dream. 

Whether it’s a student in Satana dreaming of a bigger house, Chirag’s own dream of being the best at his passions to eventually fulfil his deeper pursuits, or our vision of building a community of responsible young leaders across the globe – it all starts with a dream.

We thank Chirag for his unwavering commitment to building a brighter future.  Through his support, he has helped fuel the dreams of children and empower them to chart their paths. His dedication to our programs serves as a reminder of the transformative power of collective action. Together, we can create a world where every child has the opportunity to reach for the stars

By Garima Kumar (Communications Associate)