#ForEveryChild through sports with UNICEF

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANSlife) Children performed a choreographed dance with leaders and celebrities on their side as part of a celebration of World Children’s Day that sent a strong message about how important it is for them to feel celebrated, included, and treated fairly and equally – regardless of who they are and where they live.

Speaking at the event, Meeta Rajivlochan, Secretary Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India said: “The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports focuses on tailored and holistic wellbeing and development of young people through country-wide volunteering organisations. Let us commit today to ensure that every child and young person in this country has the resources, skills, opportunities, and spaces to voice their views to lead India to a brighter tomorrow.”

In South Delhi’s Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium, hundreds of kids gathered. Sachin Tendulkar, a great cricketer and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador, and Ayushmann Khurrana, a celebrated Bollywood actor and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate, led a team of 20 kids in a friendly futsal match. A musical concert was held by well-known artist Ricky Kej, who is also a Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF. A brilliant art performance by about 100 kids portrayed togetherness in diversity, inclusiveness, and equality.

In opening remarks, Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative to India said: “World Children’s Day is a time for all of us to renew our collective promises for every child, especially for girls, to be included and protected and reach their full potential, unhindered by gender stereotypes, inequalities, and other barriers. When it comes to #ChildRights, there can be only one team! UNICEF India is privileged to support this cross sectoral movement in India, a country that has made remarkable strides on improving outcomes for its youngest stakeholders and sees children as force multipliers for generational transformations. I thank the Secretary Youth Affairs and celebrities who joined today and reinforced the message on fighting discrimination and symbolically kicking it out of the park through sports.”

Legendary cricketer and Regional Ambassador for UNICEF South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar, said: “I’ve always believed that sports liberate us from many shackles and helps us be better human beings. It plays a more important role for girls and women as it equips them with more power and confidence to make their mark. Today’s game showed this. UNICEF’s efforts to link play and child rights are commendable. The game is yours as long as you have the passion in your heart.”

Bollywood star and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate Ayushmann Khurrana, said: “When we play, we become a team and realise that our determination, passion, and enthusiasm are all that matter. This is what we are here to celebrate. Let’s empower girls and boys to promote equality and inclusion for all children. UNICEF, thank you for organising this event on a theme I care about.”

Ricky Kej, a two-time Grammy winner and UNICEF celebrity supporter, delivered a specially constructed audio-visual experience devoted to children and the next generation of world leaders in order to inspire change and urge children to use their creativity.

Famed Indian sprinter Hima Das joined children-centred activities of UNICEF Assam in marking the World Children’s Day. A creative art presentation by 100 school children highlighted stories of inclusion and non-discrimination in a captivating dance form.

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

20221122-171004

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