Shefali Prasad swung a baseball bat for the first time two years ago. Prasad, 15, a student of Rajhans Vidyalaya was among the first group of students to experiment with this new activity on offer at her school.
"It's fun to learn new stuff," said Prasad, who has also tried softball, a baseball variant. "Not many people play baseball. We go to a lot of tournaments."
Schools are constantly expanding the range of their extra-curricular offerings, saying students are keen to experiment and parents are becoming more demanding, seeking to mould their children into perfect models of achievement.
"It's absolutely important for schools to offer different activities," said Sanjeev Das, whose daughter studies at Delhi Public School in Nerul, which offers horse-riding, skating and gymnastics. "If the school doesn't have facilities, where will the kids play? One of the criteria for choosing this school was its campus and excellent grounds."
As schools expand their offerings to include multiple sports, dance forms, craft and literary activities, students have a range to choose from; all in the same place.
"I am very happy for my children to take part in these other activities in school itself, with their bunch of friends," said Seema Parekh, whose children study at Villa Theresa School on Peddar Road and St Mary's, Mazgaon. "The peer group is an important motivating factor. Having all the activities in one place is better than running around for extra classes."
While parents are keen to enrol their children in various activities, cost concerns are always a factor. "Everything is fine, but this is an additional cost after all," said a parent whose child studies at a suburban school. "It is not cheap and schools are no longer providing education as a social good. They charge extra for everything."