Skating in any form, be it roller skating or skateboarding, is generally perceived as a dangerous activity for kids to pursue. This is mainly because of the fact that skateboarding can cause some terrible injuries to kids.
The awareness of skateboarding as a professional sport in India is very low, but that seems to be changing fast with the inclusion of the sport as a medal event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
There are quite a few skateboarders in India, but the one who stands out of all is a 5-year-old named Janaki Anand.
Born in Dubai to a Malayali family, Janaki took up skateboarding when she was just two-year-old after being inspired by her father and elder brother. The toddler used to try balancing on the skateboard inside her house by supporting herself using the edges of sofa or whatever she could hold on to.
But, it was not until she turned four that her family took her out to a skate park.
Janaki impressed everyone with her skills in her very first visit to the park in January 2020. Sensing that her kid was special, Janaki's mother decided to create an Instagram account for her daughter and started uploading small clips of her brilliance.
Soon the pandemic stuck, and Janaki, like the rest of us, was stuck indoors for months. But, that did not stop her from refining her craft. Janaki continued skating inside her home and kept learning new tricks.
A few months later, Janaki's family decided to shift to Kerala to empower the children in the state, especially young girls, through the sport of skateboarding.
An Instagram handle called skatekochi uploaded a video of Janaki's practice session in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi – one of the best training centers for skaters in India.
The video of a young Janaki skating in a frock immediately grabbed the eyeballs of the netizens and went viral. The five-year-old can be seen stumbling a couple of times before successfully completing the trick and crying.