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Young crusader


This journey of sheer determination and courage was not the one that Achyut chose to embark on initially. He was a cricketer and practiced for 10 years on grounds like LDA and KD Singh Babu Stadium, Lucknow and played Under 17 for Sahara Club. While in Rajasthan in 2018 to play nationals he had his focus on hitting a century from his bat for his country but his injuries brought him back to Lucknow.

In 2019, after a ligament injury, he was shattered beyond words and wondered if he would be able to play cricket again.

Emotionally drained, he used to wander in the areas around practice grounds and see kids playing on the streets. There was something in their gleaming eyes that drew Achyut to them. He started interacting with them, read out poems to them, taught them some cricket techniques, and most importantly listened to them, their dreams, their wishes. He realised that even though those children were begging, sleeping on the streets, they were just like other kids who wanted to play, attend school, talk to people and be treated with respect.

Soon Mukesh, Shivansh, Shrishti, Purusharth, and Aliza joined Achyut and started spending time with these children. “I don’t know if I can make any difference in their lives, but they definitely have brought a positive change in my life”, says Achyut.

He, along with his team, then came up with their initiative, Swapna, and soon had over 500 volunteers joining them to help them spread smiles and achieve their mission of working for the welfare of the underprivileged.

Swapna is now the biggest youth led initiative in the city. Currently, they are running visionary campaigns of feeding people, teaching children, uplifting women and taking care of stray animals through Feed India, Mission Margdarshan, Mission Sashakt and Animal Feeding Drives, respectively.

Besides this, they have started another campaign, Bhumitra, to protect the environment.

Their initiatives have so far benefitted over 45,000 people, during the lockdown, through food distribution in various areas of the city, and also fed 27,000 throughout that time. Breaking the taboo, the women of the underprivileged society were provided sanitary napkins with the aim of ‘power to empower’.

Achyut aspires to uplift and empower every human and bring a ray of hope in everyone’s life, just the way those children brought hope in his life and he says, “Things change! Never stop believing. Just focus on what you want to do and believe in the power of God”.

Story covered by Isha Makhijani

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