Guest Info

START Academy, founded in 2017 by former India #1 and World #38 Squash Player Ritwik Bhattacharya, aims to uplift economically weaker sections of society through sports, particularly the tribal community in Kalote Mokashi, Maharashtra. 

Over the past three years, the academy has empowered marginalised youth in sports and provided pro bono counselling, coaching, training, and nutrition support to tribal children. The academy has created job opportunities for the local village community and nurtured talent that competes nationally. It is an unofficial national training centre, bringing together diverse cultures and fostering a passion for excellence. START Academy is giving tribal children a chance to dream big and discover their true potential.

About the Show

Over 476 million indigenous people reside in 90 countries, comprising 6.2% of the global population. These communities play a vital role in safeguarding 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Despite their significance, they continue to face inequalities and human rights violations.

In response to this alarming disparity and driven by a strong desire to bring about visible change and uplift the lives of tribal youth, START was founded. Joining Rajan Nazran in this conversation are visionary leaders Munish Makhija and Ritwik Bhattacharya, who are transforming tribal India through sports.

START, which stands for Sports for Tribal Advancement and Recreation, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering indigenous youth through sports. Munish Makhija and Ritwik Bhattacharya recognised the transformative power of sports in addressing the challenges faced by indigenous communities, particularly the youth. With a shared vision of positive change, they established START to provide opportunities, resources, and support to tribal communities in India.

Beyond sports, START’s impact extends to the entire tribal community. Empowering Indigenous youth leads to improved access to education, better health outcomes, and enhanced social cohesion.

The journey to empower tribal youth is ongoing, with START committed to expanding its reach, bolstering its programs, and advocating for the rights and well-being of tribal communities. Tune in now!

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.

Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music: (Music credit:

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