9 year old girl brushes aside stereotypes, skates into people’s hearts

This uplifting news comes to us from Mahabalipuram, India.

At an age when most girls are busy growing up. 9 years old Kamali is busy following her own dreams. She is the only person in her community who can surf and skateboard. Every day she steps out of her home, deep in a colony of fisherfolk armed with a unique sense of confidence and a skateboard. She is an attention grabber, people look to her both in awe and also out of a sense of concern.

Kamali is far different from the other little girls in her area, it does not bother her family because they believe that their little girl is special, blessed with the power to fly high above all stereotypes, judgments and challenges. Her irrepressible spirit finds expression in Sasha Rainbow’s Kamali, an award-winning film tracing the journey of the child to empowerment and freedom.

The movie was shot 2 years ago, featuring the 7-year-old Kamali as the only girl skateboarder in the region. Her mother Suganthi had led a restricted life behind closed doors before her marriage, and Kamali represents to her a shining beacon of hope, not just for the family but the entire community. In the film, she says,” If my marriage had gone well I would have kept Kamali locked away at home like I was. And, she would have been married off to a man at 17. My girl must not grow up like that.”

Kamali’s journey began 4 years ago when the professional skateboarder from America, Jaime Thomas arrived at Mahabalipuram, one of the surfing hotspots in India. Kamali was already surfing at that time but had the fear of heights. When Holystoked&Temple Adventures built a skateboarding ramp near the beach, Kamali was taught by Jaime Thomas to skateboard, and now she is inseparable from her board.

In her hometown, Kamali has proved to be an inspiration to other kids; her friends at home, as well as school, have begun to take an interest in the sport. Among them is her brother, six-year-old Hari.

Kamali feels that her own future is full of possibilities. She has many ambitions. She wants to become a surfer, skater and also a doctor for humans or animals. Along with her grit and a positive attitude, Kamali is causing waves across the entire country.

Image Source: The Better India

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