When we read stories about people starting from scratch, making a name, coming to realize what they are good at, is mostly summed with a lot many years of struggle behind it.

One look at 12 years of Jessi introduces us to her journey as a child, the struggle eventually finding what she is good at… the ball game, Rugby. Born in a joint family of 17 members, she lived in a slum near Nariman Point. Her father is a driver and mother a housemaid. Jessi and her younger brother Prem, were looked after by her maternal grandparents while almost everybody else worked for livelihood.

Jessi said, “I was in 2nd standard studying in an English medium school when our huts were broken down. Our entire family of 17 shifted to Cuffe Parade. It was difficult with money and so mother shifted me and Prem to a boarding school in Chakala, Andheri. Trying still to continue smiling, Jessi said that I am very close to my mother. It was really difficult trying to stay away from her for those 2 years. After completing 4th standard, mother brought us both back to stay with family at Cuffe Parade.

Not able to get admission, we both stayed at home playing the whole day. my uncle introduced me to the game of Rugby through Magician Foundation (India). Every Saturday started attending Rugby sessions held at Oval Maidan, Churchgate. Realizing that I and Prem are school dropouts, our mentor got our admissions done in Colaba Municipal School. We both are studying in 5th standard now.

While playing Rugby made many friends. Got to know ethics, discipline. After every session, Payal di and other YRLs take a 15 minutes session on various topics of health, hygiene, mannerisms, importance of education. Counselor Poonam mam also guided on personal issues, helped create focus on education. I see Payal didi as my role model, says a proud Jessi. I want to be like her, confident and strong and want to be a Rugby coach to children.

With full support from family, Jessi made sure not to miss out on any practice session throughout the year. She says, “I am very happy. My whole years hard work has helped me be selected in the Maharashtra RAM Team for All India Sub-Junior National Rugby Championship”. Our Team secured 4th position in the Championship. Am happy that I could make all proud, my family, my coaches, and Magician Foundation (India).

While on the tour, I got the chance to make many new friends, learn more about the game. Jessi departed saying am happy that am part of Magician Foundation (India).