She was three years old when Papa brought her chess. This toy was somewhat different than a doll or a teddy bear. At first glance, he did not like this gift of father anything special. But when Papa started keeping pieces on the chessboard, his interest started growing. Gradually he began to enjoy playing with infantry, elephants, horses and wazirs. Although father did not know anything special about chess, but his understanding was enough to convince the daughter. A few days later in this game she started defeating Papa. Then one day Papa took him to a coach. Seeing the three-year-old girl, the coach said that he cannot teach chess to such a young girl. But when Papa insisted, the coach agreed to give him training. She is now eight years old. Sanskriti Wankhede is the name of this little girl who won the gold medal in the Asian Chase Youth Championship last month.
Sanskriti Wankhede was born in Akola area of Pune. This is a slum. Papa Sangha Das of culture is a teacher at Wankhede Zilla Parishad School and mother Bharti Wankhede is a homemaker. The biggest aspiration of this family living with limited income was to build a good house somewhere outside the slum. But after the birth of culture, dreams of parents changed. Now his biggest desire was to give excellent education to the culture. Papa was a teacher, so he knew the importance of education very much, but he also knew that it is not so easy to give a good upbringing and a good education to the daughter within a limited financial circle.
The culture was now three years old. His innocent Satanis and Totli dialect started buzzing home. When the father returned home in the evening, the mother would report to him for a full day of culture and both would laugh a lot at his mischief. Now they were worried about getting the daughter admitted to school. One day there was a TV show going on at home in the evening. The show was honoring Russian children of three to four years old. Those children were the winners of the chess competition. Seeing them, Papa thought why not teach chess to the culture too. What was the other day, the next day he brought him chess. Sangh Das says, I thought my daughter’s mind would be sharper by playing chess. Later, she will be able to do well in mathematics and science. But then I had no idea that she would one day become a chess champion.
Initially, the culture did not like Papa’s gift, but gradually his interest grew. When Papa found out in the surrounding area, he came to know about chess coach Jitendra Agarwal. Then took him to the coach. Seeing Papa, the coach asked, who wants to learn chess, you or your wife? When Papa said he wanted to teach chess to the culture, the coach had a laugh. He advised that if a three-year-old girl is sent to school, it is better. But where were the fathers of culture to believe. He appealed to the coach to definitely play a game with culture. Eventually Koch had to obey Sangh Das. When the culture beat the tricks of the coaches one after the other on the chess board, they were convinced that this little girl would do something great later.
The coaches agreed to train the culture. But now the issue was about fees. It was beyond Dad’s bus to pay hefty training fees. But the coach did not let him down. He agreed to train the culture at a very discounted fee. Six months later, he got his first chance to play in a local chess tournament in Nagpur. Culture got the third place in it. Now Papa and Koch had high hopes. Meanwhile, she started going to school, but more focus was on chess.
Over time she became more adept at chess. The culture gained confidence after playing in Nagpur. She now prepares for the Under-5 Asian Youth Chase Championship competition. The competition took place in Delhi in the year 2011 and the culture surprised everyone by winning the gold medal. Culture came to Delhi for the first time. Here he encountered children from large English-speaking homes. The father of culture says, we live in an ordinary colony. The culture was disturbed by seeing rich children studying in English medium here. She could not speak anything to anyone. But when he won the gold medal, everyone came to congratulate him. Then she became comfortable.
After winning the medal and returned to the township, there was no movement. Nobody came here to congratulate him. Actually, people do not understand the importance of playing chess in that area. But the coach saw his golden future. They started training him for the Asian Championship. After returning from Delhi, Papa had only one desire in his mind to buy a good house for culture. He took a loan from the bank to build a new house. But then the coach told that Sanskrit would have to go to Sri Lanka for the Asian Championship. Papa, once again leaving behind the dream of home, bought a ticket to Sri Lanka with that debt money.
When the money ran out, the mother pledged her jewelry and both went to Sri Lanka for culture. Relatives and friends say nothing is to be gained from chess, says Sangh Das. Don’t waste money unnecessarily. But the culture ended our fears by winning the gold medal. The process of victory of culture has not stopped. Last month, he won the gold medal at the Under-8 Asian Chase Championships in Tashkent city of Uzbekistan, proving that lack of facilities and resources cannot stop the path of progress if a person has passion.