‘We want to ignite the fire for chess in others’ – Co-founder of ‘Samvedna’, 16-year-old Bhushita Ahuja opens up on spreading chess to the underprivileged | Firstsportz Exclusive

Samvedna is a foundation that aims at spreading the game of chess in the underprivileged sections of the society.

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Bhushita Ahuja 2 - FirstSportz
Bhushita Ahuja (Credits – Bhushita Ahuja @bhushi33 on Instagram)

Bhushita Ahuja is just 16 years of age but she’s already on her path to excellence. A chess champion who is also an author and an entrepreneur, Bhushita is living proof of how focus and determination can get you far in life, irrespective of the challenges and hurdles that come your way.

The young girl from New Delhi is the co-founder of ‘Samvedna’, a foundation that aims at spreading the game of chess in the underprivileged sections of the society. With the motto of ‘igniting the fire of chess in others’, Samvedna organizes chess tournaments and through funds collected from the same, spreads the game in the slums and underprivileged sections of society.

The foundation started off with a tournament in December last year which was attended by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir and since then, has gone from strength to strength. As many as 8 events have been conducted since then which have seen participation in excess of 500. Apart from these, chess coaching has been started in 2 slums in Delhi and online coaching for over 300 students from government schools and NGOs have begun.

This very clearly is a noble foundation that is destined for greatness. Co-founder Bhushita Ahuja spoke to firstsportz.com in an exclusive interview and shared her thoughts on the foundation, chess, entrepreneurship and so much more.

The inspiration behind Samvedna and its functioning

Gambhir Samvedna - FirstSportz
Gautam Gambhir during the first tournament of Samvedna with its founders (Credits – Samvedna Online)

Bhushita co-founded Samvedna with her younger brother Bhavik Ahuja, and when we asked her as to how the foundation came to be, she said, “We used to be chess players ourselves. We used to play professionally and participate for the state and country every month. When I entered high school, the study pressure increased and we had to choose between academics and sports. My family wanted me to purse academics. So chess had to take a back seat. However, our passion for the game was just impossible to overshadow and hence we decided that we had to spread this passion with others and ignite the fire of chess in others.”

Talking about her 14-year-old brother, “Bhavik is two years younger to me. Both started to play chess together. We would play against each other during the day and challenge each other. That’s how the interest grew. We both were equally passionate. In fact, he’s a better player than me and has won medals for the country” the 16-year-old said.

Speaking about her foundation and how it works, Bhushita said, “We organize tournaments. We charge entry fees and invest that back into Samvedna. We need a lot of funding like chess boards, material, books and coaches will have to be paid. All these add up to a lot of cost. So we organize these tournaments and workshops to get and manage these funds to be sustainable. My brother is good in the technical aspects like managing the tournaments. I’m good with choosing coaches, players and the social aspects. So we divide our work accordingly.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has however, led to a lot of hurdles in Samvedna’s way. Speaking about the same, “The major struggle is connecting students from underprivileged sections is difficult during the pandemic. Because a lot come from rural areas and slums where internet and devices are a huge problem. This is a major struggle. Earlier we had physical classes but now we can’t meet anyone physically. So we’re unable to reach out to people who don’t have the technology,” Bhushita said.

Already an author at 16

Bhushita Ahuja - FirstSportz
Bhushita Ahuja (Credits – Bhushita Ahuja @bhushi33 on Instagram)

Apart from being an entrepreneur and chess champion, Bhushita is also an author. She has written and published a book on clothing psychology titled, ‘Open your Wardrobe for Answers’. Speaking about her interest in writing and clothing, Bhushita said, “I’m 16 but I have been writing since I was 5-6 years old. It’s always helped me relax my mind. I love to express my thoughts through words. I like to write when I’m feeling low and feel relieved when I do so. That’s how I started loving writing as a hobby. Some are scared to write words, articles or essays. But for me, writing is a fun thing to do. That’s how I got the interest in writing.

I’ve always wanted to be an author but I had no idea on how to get a book published. I had a very keen interest in the field of fashion. I come from a background in the fashion industry. That’s how I got interested in clothing psychology. When I showed my parents and family members things I had written, they encouraged me to get it published and with their help I found a publisher and got it published.

When we asked her on what exactly clothing psychology is and what her book focuses on, Bhusitha said, “You basically can understand your own personality by understanding what kind of clothes you wear. The first impression is the best impression. So clothing plays a vital role in what message you give to people around you. People perceive you by what you are wearing. The book talks about colors, the difference between style and fashion, how to stay focused using clothes that help you stay goal-oriented and so on.”

Bhushita’s golden words of advice

Vishwanathan Anand Samvedna - FirstSportz
Bhavik and Bhushita with Viswanathan Anand (Credits Samvedna Online)

If school students think managing the workload of board exams, projects and home-work is difficult, Bhushita does all these while also being an entrepreneur, chess star and author. When we quizzed her with utmost curiosity as to how she manages to do all of these, “I feel that where there is a will, there is a way. I save my time by focusing on my priorities. I prioritize completing my work before spending my leisure time with whatever I want to do.”

Bhushita’s inspiration in life is her mother. “I feel my mother is the most inspiring person. Her story is really inspiring. Her thought process and the way she thinks and motivates me on a daily basis She encourages me a lot. Whatever I’ve been able to achieve is thanks to her,” she said.

Before she signed off, Bhushita had some golden words of advice for chess stars and entrepreneurs. “There is a doha which translates roughly to ‘Even if you grow as tall as you can be, there’s no point in your existence if you can’t help others and bring a positive difference in someone’s life. What’s the point if a tree grows so tall but can’t provide shade to anyone.’ So ego and that kind of attitude will always bring you down. You should always stay down-to-earth and give back to society,” she said.

If you’re playing chess or studying or whatever it is that you’re doing. Always be independent of results. Always focus on giving in your best and 100%. You shouldn’t worry about what the outcome will be. If you focus on the outcome, then your effort won’t be great and you won’t be able to achieve what you desire,” Bhushita signed off.

Throughout the course of our interview with Bhushita Ahuja, the 16-year-old’s answers proved to be way ahead of her age. The clarity with which she spoke and the golden words of advice that she offered was testament to the fact that this is a girl of focus, determination and grit who is just getting started. Her foundation, Samvedna is destined to reach great heights thanks to its noble cause. firstsportz.com wishes the young champion all the very best for all her endeavors.

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