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Home / More Lifestyle / Putt-ing a smile: Kids raise money for caddies

Putt-ing a smile: Kids raise money for caddies

Age not withstanding, these four junior national­-level golfers from the city, took it on themselves to raise over ₹2.7 lakhs through crowd funding to help out their daily wager caddie

more-lifestyle Updated: Apr 28, 2020 20:20 IST
Nishad Neelambaran
Nishad Neelambaran
HT Mumbai
(From left) Jaash Parekh, Siddharth Kaul, Shlok Dabir and Jaikrit Bhattacharya
(From left) Jaash Parekh, Siddharth Kaul, Shlok Dabir and Jaikrit Bhattacharya

Desperate times calls for desperate measures but some solutions may be out-of the-box as well as inspirational. While we may look to adults for many things, four kids from Chembur have led by example when it comes to helping the needy.

Jaikrit Bhattacharya, Siddharth Kaul, Jaash Parekh and Shlok Dabir, aged 15 to 17, have their love for golf and their bond with their caddies at their home club, Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC), Chembur, in common. Since the pandemic has forced the club to keep its doors locked, these caddies, who are daily wage earners, have no other means of income. Though the club is helping them in a few ways, these four kids took it into their own hands to raise as much as ₹ 2.7 lakhs through a fundraiser.

Jaikrit Bhattacharya
Jaikrit Bhattacharya

Jaikrit Bhattacharya, 16

I’ve been playing golf for 12 years now, and I have developed a strong bond with the caddies of my home club. In times like these they are going through huge financial difficulties. So, my friends and I brainstormed a plan to help them in these challenging times. We are contributing the money collected to the Chembur Golf Welfare Foundation (CGWF), who are helping them financially as well as buying ration for them. Our families definitely gave us unconditional support, which motivated us to keep pushing harder when we were not seeing much success, initially. They also made us realise that we were doing this for something greater than ourselves.

Jaash Parekh
Jaash Parekh

Jaash Parekh, 17

I started playing golf since the age of nine and caddies have played a very important role in my growth. Since the beginning of lockdown, caddies were calling members asking for financial support because they had lost their source of income. Requests such as these and a newspaper article detailing the difficulties for the caddies were two of the main factors that led us to start this initiative. We’ve also received aid from countries like the US, UK and Australia. Initially, we planned to distribute the funds ourselves but then realised that it would be easier through the aid of the club. We will be giving the funds to the CGWF, who will then distribute this to the caddies by transferring money into their bank accounts.

Siddharth Kaul
Siddharth Kaul

Siddharth Kaul, 16

I’ve been playing golf since I was three-years-old, and the person that taught me was my caddy, Vishnu. He’s been a caddy for my family for the past 19 years. He used to work for my dad even before I was born. In these trying times, we realised that Vishnu, along with the other caddies, have to make do with what they have. We all were really excited when we started this but the main challenge was to spread the message across to a larger audience. We reached out to many renowned Indian professional golfers such as Anirban Lahiri, Rashid Khan and Aadil Bedi, who were kind enough to help us out.

Shlok Dabir
Shlok Dabir

Shlok Dabir, 15

For all four of us, our caddies have been more than people carrying our golf kits. They’re our friends as well as our mentors. We’ve seen how hard they work and despite that, they are always ready to greet us with a smile and a high-five even on a tough day. Our efforts are just a small way of showing them that we care for them. People have been very supportive and we are very grateful. Our efforts of reaching out to people via social media have paid off.

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