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BookASmile: Changing lives through the power of entertainment and play

To say that the world can be saved, is perhaps an ambition far too great for an individual or organisation to undertake. But, that does not deter those who, drenched in their idealistic vision, strive to give a better tomorrow to as many lives as they can. Such an endearing effort has been made by BookASmile, a charity initiative of the online entertainment booking behemoth, BookMyShow. Previously, they undertook two articulately designed projects to promote and bring about a happy change in the life of the underprivileged that struggle in the rural and urban regions of India: first, a project that aimed to promote filmmaking at grassroots level; and, second, Yuwa: Football for Empowerment programme.

Despite the myriads of initiatives made by zealous NGOs that work in areas such as education and awareness, BookASmile took an interesting step. Yuwa: Football For Empowerment programme, spanning from April 2017 to March 2018, has taken under its wing girls from 15 villages in Ranchi District, Jharkhand, and has started to train them.  They decided that enjoyment and entertainment could also be a means to enriching the lives of the less fortunate. This would leave many with a quizzical expression, as to how one could truly provide something beyond pleasure through entertainment, and here is what the Farzana Cama Balpande, the programme’s chief, had to say to Guardian 20, “We truly believe that sports is a fantastic medium to inculcate values and qualities such as team work, gender equality, discipline, self esteem and self respect.”

Their goals are met by rigorous efforts put in on a regular basis. Balpande further elucidates the details of the initiative, “There are currently about 300 players in Yuwa’s football program, 90% of them are girls. Their age ranges from 5-20 years. And all practices take place on makeshift fields in

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