Wheels Up: India’s Largest Skate Park Is Changing Lives
The largest skate park in India is not in a big city; rather it’s in the village of Janwaar, next to a tiger reservation 15 miles outside the city of Panna. Founded by Ulrike Reinhard, a German who has lived in India for about six years, Janwaar Castle attracts local children every day, but the park has a strict rule: Kids must attend school if they want to skateboard. At the park, children are also taught languages, music, dance, painting, 3-D modeling, and life skills.
The surrounding village is made up of 1,200 people, and one of their biggest challenges is access to clean water. They get their water from three main sources: a hand pump, open wells, or rivers and ponds.
Wanting to promote education through skateboarding and knowing the village’s major water challenge, Nyjah Huston, a five-time Street League Skateboarding and six-time X-Games champion, made a trip to Janwaar in November with his charity, Let It Flow. The organization, founded by Huston and his mother, Kelle, repairs broken water wells, builds wells, and provides filtration systems. Most important, brothers Cody and Joshua Barker, who run the repair team, teach locals how to maintain their own wells and offer the tools necessary to do so.