It may have been a skater movie, but it didn’t say ‘see you later,’ movie. The film set of the Netflix original ‘Skater Girl’ which recently released has left behind a legacy, one that is helping young children in a Rajasthan village learn skating. Manjari Makijani’s Skater Girl set in a remote Rajasthan village. It highlights how an absolutely new sport like skateboarding arrives there and the mesmeric manner in which it captures the imagination of children, who think of novel methods to build a skateboard. And it seems just about brilliant when a teenage girl, Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta), pushed by her desire to speed along mud roads, takes to this game and turns it into a way of life and also a point of dissent and defiance. It may appear a little exaggerated when she runs away from her own marriage to take part in a competition.
The set of the movie is in Khempur, a village about 50 kms away from Rajasthan’s Udaipur. The same way that skateboarding changes her life in the movie, and the park is changing the lives of many other children in the village. The shooting of the movie wrapped in 2019 and since then, Desert Dolphin Skate Park has been the ground for training hundreds of village children to skate for free. Four kids from Khempur have gone on to represent Rajasthan in the National Skateboarding Championship in Chandigarh, reports Conde Nast Traveller.
“These kids who had never stepped on a skateboard before the skatepark was made were now in state jerseys travelling for the first time outside their villages to take part in a national level championship,” Manjari Makijany, the maker of Skater Girl, told Conde Nast Traveller.
The park has also become a personal endeavour for Makijany, her sister Vinati and her husband Emmanuel Pappas. The family has also set up a trust called The Living Grace Foundation to support the project. The organisation has been providing skateboards, safety equipment and training for free to the children. Desert Dolphin Skate Park in Khempur sprawls across 14,500 sqft and was built by the crew of 100 Ramps, a Bengaluru skate park construction company.
Makinjay in May had posted about the kids on her Instagram.
The script for ‘Skater Girl’ was written by Makijani and her sister, Vinati allows a few diversions on the skateboarding route, like how women are still considered “unclean” when they are menstruating and how men feel it is demeaning to allow their wives, sisters and daughters to work outside home, however, grinding their poverty may be. Read News18’s review of the film here.