girl skate India

„I think skateboarding is a wonderful way for girls of all ages to become more self-confident and test their limits,“ says Verghese.

Injustice between men and women is still one of the biggest problems in Indian society today. In 2014, India even ranked 136th on the United Nations‘ list of the most unfair countries – there were 186 places in total.

In a traditionally male world, women are relegated to second place. This can be seen in all areas of life. For example, the Foundation for Sustainable Development found in a study that just 54 percent of all women in India can read and write. By comparison, the figure for men is 76 percent.

photo courtesy: Netflix Kerry Monteen

In India, girls have always played by society’s rules. A force to be reckoned with, defying cultural norms in the male-dominated world of skateboarding. From Mumbai to Pune, these women are mastering the sport, inspiring others to embrace their passions and strive for greatness.  

India’s foremost female skate leader Atita Verghese has a new vision for girls. An inspiration for women worldwide. Especially India.

A nation of a billion souls where skating is still in its infancy.

Born in Bengaluru, Atita is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of women’s skateboarding in India. A friend introduced her to skateboarding in 2012, when she was just 19. She founded the Girl Skate India (NGO) project in 2014/15, which aims, encourages / empower young girls through skateboarding and has organised several skateboarding events across the country. Follow her path into the great big world of skateboarding.

“The people I started skating with were the first-generation skateboarders in India. When I found skateboarding, I thought it was such a good channel to put all my energy into.

She discovered skateboard culture through the country’s „Holystoked“ crew who built India’s first DIY skatepark in Bangalore. As soon as she set foot on a board, her life changed forever.

In 2014, Atita founded „Girl Skate“ India, an NGO which encourages young women to follow her path into the great big world of skateboarding. Skater girl a Netflix film/show she was presenting 

a society where opportunities for girls for being free of social constraints and fun are “ thin on the ground „, Atita does more than just provide boards, pads or lessons- she has created a collective and woman movement in a rural area in India.

Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta) is a normal girl growing up in an Indian village. This means a life with many traditions and obligations, especially for women.

When Jessica (Amy Maghera), an advertising executive from London, turns up one day and her old friend Erick (Jonathan Readwin) rides a skateboard, the children are introduced to a whole new world.

Prerna started learning riding this strange board herself.

Jessica does everything she can do for supporting youngsters in their new passion and gives a space they need: a skate park

In 2015, she co-founded Girl Skate India, an initiative that teaches girls how to skate, promotes gender equality and brings together skateboarders in India through workshops.

At the end of 2015, the group organized 12 skaters from nine countries to embark on an all-female four-city skate tour – the first in India – using the sport to empower underprivileged girls around the country.

If anyone is an advert for the power of the skateboard, it’s Verghese.

everyday conditions / developments

When a teen in rural India discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding, she faces a rough road as she follows her dream to compete. Skater Girl (film) is an example of being free from all expectations and traditional role models. This film is a a satisfaction and worth to see. Its a pitty that everyday conditions (social drama) are shown a bit to less. Instead, this has a rather idealized, almost fairytale-like feel to it. An energetic positive basic attitude is nice. However, one should then orient oneself a little towards reality.

Skater Girl is a 2021 coming-of-age sports drama film directed by Manjari Makijany. The cast includes newcomers Rachel Sanchita Gupta and Shafin Patel, and also stars Amrit Maghera, Jonathan Readwin and Waheeda Rehman. It was written by Manjari and Vinati Makijany, who co-produced the film through their Indian production company Mac Productions.[3] It was released on 11 June 2021 by Netflix

In the present day in a village in Rajasthan, teenager Prerna is living a life bound by tradition and duty to her parents.

When London-bred advertising executive Jessica arrives in the village to learn more about her late father’s childhood, Prerna and the other local children are introduced to an exciting new adventure thanks to Jessica and her old friend Erick who cruises into town on a skateboard.

The kids become infatuated with the sport, skating through the village, disrupting everything and everyone around them.

Determined to empower and encourage their newfound passion, Jessica sets out on an uphill battle to build the kids their own skatepark, leaving Prerna with a difficult choice between conforming to society’s expectations of her or living out her dream of competing in the National Skateboarding Championships.

​Atitas construction area. photo courtesy: Atita Verghese/Norma Ibarra


Welcome to the skate park

It wasn’t until 2013, when Verghese was 19, that she got on a skateboard – a sport that has only started to gain popularity in India during the past decade.

It was friend Abhishek Shakenbake who introduced her to the sport in a skate park in Bangalore, where they are both based.

“He would meet me (after school) with a skateboard,” Verghese remembers. “I was really curious and was like, ‘What is it?’” He taught her “a few of the basics.”

A self-taught skateboarder who picked up the sport in 2010 after a law school classmate brought him a skateboard from overseas, Abhishek, now aged 31, co-founded HolyStoked Collective in 2011. It went on to become one of the biggest skate shops in Bangalore.

Here, she teams up with professional skateboarder Lizzie Armanto to show local girls how skateboarding can be more than just a sport – it can teach them to be whatever, choose whatever, and do whatever feels true to them.

Being a girl and being into skateboarding has its own perks as well. So it’s not only misery. There are people who approach you and appreciate you.