Boys enjoy a game of carom at a Tharpakhna club in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Youths of Tharpakhna in Ranchi are often found bonding over carom during their free time in the evenings, thanks to a former Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) councillor’s initiative.
Meet former councillor of ward No. 18 Rajesh Kumar Gupta who spent thousands from his own pocket to buy carom boards three months ago for local clubs to help youngsters spend quality time. Next on his agenda is badminton.
Gupta, who has not taken a penny from the state government or any NGO, refused to divulge how much he spent on carom boards.
“Besides Deshopriyo Club in Tharpakhna, I also bought boards for clubs in Lohra Kocha, Dangratoli and Lalpur (all under ward No. 18). Plans are also afoot to set up badminton clubs, some meant exclusively for girls,” said Gupta, who could not contest civic body polls this time as ward No. 18 was reserved for women.
Badminton nets will soon be put up at Deshopriyo Club and Mahavir Mandir, both at Tharpakhna.
“I have also identified a place in Ghosh Para on Hazaribagh Road where a badminton club will be set up only for girls,” Gupta added.
Asked what prompted him to take this initiative, he said: “Youths involved in some kind of sport always think positive, understand the value of discipline and become more creative and sincere.”
The former councillor with doctorate in commerce added Tharpakhna and Lalpur had many lodges for college students but no affordable recreational facility. “In their free time, youngsters simply roam around,” said Gupta. “Involvement in sports is the best way to keep them engaged,” he added.
“We are happy with the carom board at Deshopriyo Club. We appreciate our former ward councillor’s initiative and would like him to offer such facilities in other parts of the city too,” said Tharpakhna youth Anil Rudra.
RMC has also come up with five new green lungs — three in Harmu and two in Morabadi — in the last couple of months. Besides, old ones like Zakir Hussain Park near Raj Bhavan, Dada Dadi Park and Children’s Park, both in Morabadi, and Sido-Kanhu Park on Kanke Road also offer fresh air.