Two 16 year old from Bangalore have started online fitness classes covering to ensure people stay physically and mentally fit during the COVID19 Pandemic. They teach high-intensity exercise, dance, strength training, etc. They use all the proceedings from this initiative to feed the homeless during these tough times.
The emergence of COVID-19 has not only affected public health and economies but is also affecting our daily lives. With empty roads, theatres, malls, gyms, schools, and colleges being closed, the impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the globe. As people are staying in their homes and fighting through this tough time, it becomes extremely important to be fit both physically and mentally and in this time of ongoing crisis, a 16-year-old boy is providing a platform that helps in attaining physical and mental fitness.
Rohan Ray is spending his lockdown by starting an initiative along with his friend, Akash Raghavan. They are running an online student-led fitness initiative called COVID Fit Club to engage children. He attends International School Bangalore and is interested in economics, business, and sports.
Rohan was overweight as a child. But through his hard work and determination, he has gone through a major transition, and now he is a national level Squash player.
“It was my friend’s mother who actually told me to do something because we had a lot of time in our hands. With exams and sports tournaments canceled, everything around us changed and it was taking a toll on everyone’s mental health. This is how we started,” says Rohan
COVID Fit Club is a group of 8-10 teenagers working together as instructors. They started their website “covidfitclub.com” to provide different types of workouts including high-intensity interval training, dance fitness, strength training, conditioning, and cardio. The hour-long class can be joined by anyone via Zoom, a video conferencing platform. The group also offers a free demo class where interested people can join for a month or a week.
“It was around 2-3 weeks ago that the idea started taking shape and we started and we got a major response. We are a group of teenagers, most of them are from my school and a few are from outside. We all are working together and trying to raise money for charity,” Rohan said.
All the proceeds from their classes go towards feeding the needy. They are closely working with Mitti Cafe, a cafe run by people with disabilities. Rohan has been working with them for a year now in different capacities.
There are 17 branches of Mitti Cafe where people with physical and learning disabilities run the cafe. Some of them are from the streets and it’s very difficult for them to get jobs. The cafe has become their source of income and has also given them a life of dignity. In the current tough times, the cafe has taken on the responsibility to feed the homeless.
“Nobody is really exercising at home, everyone is getting up late and is demotivated. Being an athlete, I exercise every day. Exercise helps me mentally in my studies and in stress. People are just sitting at home watching Netflix, online classes. Why not exercise? It keeps their mental health fit as well,” says Rohan.
One of the major challenges they face is catering to everyone’s needs. People have different needs, they want different classes, different timings, etc. It’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs.
Rohan advises all the young minds to help those in need in whatever way they can. “Just start an initiative of your interest, and the change you are trying to make will start happening. It’s also important to realize that this time that we have now, we didn’t have it earlier. So make the best use of it,” concludes Rohan.
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