Badal Behara- The Young Yoga Enthusiast!

Badal is a ten year old boy who caught our attention at the school yard of the Khadipada Primary School, Puri, Odisha. In a neat white and blue school uniform, he greeted us and introduced himself as Badal Behera who had just passed his standard V exam.

Badal has been a beneficiary of the Mid-Day Meal programme for five years now. His two younger brothers, one in the fifth, the other in the second standard are both relying on the programme too. Badal’s father is a mason and his mother, Basanti Behera, is currently working as a cook in the same school.

“Badal is a very obedient boy”, says one of his teachers. His favourite subject is literature as he understands it the best. Under observant teachers and parents, Badal attentively prepares for his lessons and tests. Besides regular studies he is also given special lessons on ‘how to build relationships’, ‘how to converse properly’ and etc.

As our conversation with Badal went further we found out that he enjoys taking part in yoga classes at school as it is a matter of interest to him. He also assumed a pose and tried to give us a demonstration of what he had learnt so far. Badal even gave us feedback on yoga’s benefits. He said, “yoga improves memory power and helps in maintaining blood pressure.”

As impressed as we were, we took the conversation forward. We found out that Badal aspires to be a mason one day as he is very interested in his father’s profession. He also gave us a few basics about the work and shared his know-how of cement mixing and laying bricks.

Badal is very interested in sports and he prefers playing hockey and cricket amongst all other sports. He told us that he carved his hockey stick himself as there were lots of bamboos around. He especially likes to watch cricket on TV and he exclaimed that Virat Kohli is his favourite cricketer as he is a match winner.

When we asked him about his favourite Akshaya Patra dish, he interjected, “though Kheer (an Indian sweet dish) is my favourite dish, I love having the other items too.” We learnt from him that his best friend, Depankar Das with whom he shares everything, likes soybeans and they always have a good time sharing their meals together! Badal is also of the opinion that, “the Mid-day meal programme is good and it should be there as it helps children.”

As our dialogue slowly faded, we understood that whether he becomes a mason or a yoga instructor; Badal will surely soar high as his namesake and we wish our poster boy of Puri all the best for his future!

The Best Way to Make a Difference in the Lives of Others