Basica Salam: Being the only Longboarding Girl to Being the Ambassador of Longboard Girls’ Crew India.
22 August 2018
Often we come across stories of women empowerment and equality amongst gender. In our today’s story, we have a 26-year-old Manipuri girl who has set an example not only for women empowerment, not only for gender equality but for liberation on the whole.
Meet Basica Salam who is one of the two women ambassadors in India for Longboard Girls’ Crew (LGC), an international community centered in Madrid.
During the early life, Basica was not much of an outdoor person. She was found mostly behind the books but things started changing when she got intrigued by the longboard. She has spent her early life and schooling been done in Manipur itself and later she shifted to Mumbai for her further education in literature & psychology.
Basica is blessed for having understanding parents who have constantly encouraged and supported her to do what she wants. She has stayed at Mumbai for almost 10 years and during that phase, she didn’t know what discrimination was, didn’t know what it was to be underprivileged being a girl and she was the only girl to longboard at that time.
Longboarding is a sport invented in Hawaii in 1950. It made its way to India in 2012, when a few avid skateboarders in Mumbai, one being Basica’s friend, Boris started the Longboard Crew India (LCI).
Longboard is a bigger version of the skateboard. It has a wide deck and with it bigger wheels too. It gives stability and it’s basically meant for cruising around the streets. People often use longboards for downhill cruising and roll down at a speed ranging from 60km to 120km per hour.
Basica got to learn the sport through Boris and started getting involved and so intrigued that she has become an ambassador for the sport today.
Being the ambassador, Basica’s task is to promote the sport in India and popularize it amongst the children and poor sections of the society.
Longboards are usually expensive and so the rich people can get easy access over it while the underprivileged remains unaware. Basica tried her best by visiting schools in Mumbai but somehow things weren’t in her favours.
Many times it happens that people work for money. It’s strange when a girl knocks at your door and is ready to give the longboard along with gears and is also willing to teach the sport. It was then at Mumbai when people disapprove of her and find a little suspicion because Basica wasn’t asking for anything in return and that created doubts in the mind of the authorities.
Keeping all the distractions aside, she had come to Manipur and through a reference of her uncle; she got an opportunity to teach longboarding to the children at a shelter home in Manipur.
Basica was warmly welcomed and this incident made her decide to shift her base back to Manipur. Today, Basica has 40-45 children whom she teaches longboarding every weekend.
Basica is a smiling woman. Nothing can stop her to achieve what she wishes to. And what makes her more interesting is that she is full of life and small incident and moments of life marks a huge importance to her.
She recalls an incident when she happened to visit Orissa. The students there welcomed her and greeted her by singing a song in their Oriya language and that moment touched Basica’s heart. Without the understanding of the language, the communication was clear. She is a woman who believes in living each small moment of life and making the best of it.
Being Manipuri, she understands the sinew and nerves of Manipur.
She says, “There’s so much potential in Manipur, the kids are so active and amazing. I feel they are far better than me when it comes to longboarding. I’m no competition to them. They need more opportunities and more exposure towards life.”
She believes in doing what is to be done.
“If anyone wants to do anything in life, they must put in all their efforts. Making small sacrifices is part of life. It’s okay! Doesn’t matter! But your goal should be clear and lovable enough to be able to make sacrifices and work for achieving success”, Basica adds.
Basica Salam is a Woman of Courage because not only she is promoting the longboarding sport but also teaching the underprivileged so that they can make a future. Basica is determined and ambitious. Not only has she had high willpower but also huge courage and guts to outshine in the dark.
Team WOC wishes Basica a very happy endeavour of life and also congratulates her on being the ambassador of Longboard Girls’ Crew India.
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