“Sports don’t build character, they reveal it,” words of Basketball coach John Wooden have gained iconic status in pop culture. You will see them plastered on walls and memorabilia. But rarely do you find them embodied like the way FLAME University student Shubham Kunjir has. The National level Volleyball player has won many accolades for his sporting prowess and it helped him bag the coveted scholarship for the MBA program at the University But he has won hearts by using his experiences to make a social impact. We present to you the highlights of the inspiring story of this sporting hero, who believes in making a difference.
Putting his sporting step forward on the courts and beyond
Winning over 20 inter-collegiate, local, and invitational tournaments across India, Shubham basked in the opportunity to travel around the country as a sportsman. While he remained focused on his performance on the courts, the travels also made him aware of the ground reality. “People who are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who do. This quote has inspired me; I believe if you think your ideas can make a difference you should follow them with all your heart. However, as a student, you have to set aside your commitment to social change at times, as the main focus is always on academics. So, you do what you can,” he says passionately.
Man on a mission
Shubham certainly was doing his part by utilizing the platforms his sporting achievements brought him. He was the Sports Secretary in his college years and worked tirelessly to solve issues faced by fellow sportspersons and students. In 2016, when Maharashtra was devastated by famine, he formed Nirmittee Foundation with his friends. “Our NGO started the initiative ‘one hand of grains’ and reached out to every home possible collecting aid. We collected 7 tonnes of grains, cattle food, cooking oil, which was distributed in Yevati village in Osmanabad,” he says. The group also undertakes blood donation and tree plantation drives for a positive change.
Carrying on the ‘Flame’
Shubham’s sporting achievements had got him reservation for government jobs. But the Mechanical Engineer, who had gained work experience as a Data Analyst was keen on pursuing further education. He then bagged a Sports Scholarship for the MBA program at FLAME University. Did it make his decision to reject offers from two universities in the US for MS programs easier? He responds intuitively, “A scholarship program that goes beyond academics shows the true spirit of FLAME University. It is a one-of-a-kind institution in India that encourages students to focus on liberal education as well as social change.”
Booked for a cause
At FLAME University, Shubham claims to benefit from the state-of-the-art infrastructure and guidance from world-class faculty members, who strive to bring the best out of him. As he pursues his management dreams, he remains involved in sports as well as working for social welfare. Last year, he undertook the initiative ‘One book – one step towards securing a bright future’, with his friends. “In two months we collected 5000 notebooks and other stationery, which will help educate 800 underprivileged students from remote areas. FLAME University has supported me in every way to balance academics with my social initiatives, which will always be a part of who I am and want to be,” he concludes, revealing his dedication in true sporting spirit.