JMI hosts Sports & Cultural Meet for children from Socio economically marginalised communities

The meet provides underprivileged children with University exposure and an opportunity to overcome their barriers, gain motivation and demonstrate their talents.

New Delhi :- The Department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized an Inter-Agency Sports and Cultural Meet for children belonging to socio-economically marginalized communities in Delhi-NCR on 11th February, 2024. The Department has been organising this meet since 1971 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Late Dr. Zakir Hussain, the President of India and one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia. The meet symbolises the belief of Dr. Zakir Hussain in the Gandhian vision of Nai talim, ‘learning by doing’ and ensuring that education extends beyond the walls of the university. The meet provides underprivileged children with University exposure and an opportunity to overcome their barriers, gain motivation and demonstrate their talents.

This vision was also reflected in the choice of the guests who were honoured in the meet. This included four child awardees namely Ms. Suhani Chauhan (Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar in 2024 for Innovation) and Ms. Anoushka Jolly (Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar in 2023 for Social Service), Mr. Harsh and Mr Ansh Varma recipients of the DCPCR Children’s Champion Award in 2023 for creating organic compost from abandoned waste and development of low cost computers respectively. It provided a rare chance to the children in the audience to have an interface with child role models who have gained recognition owing to their exceptional work and out-of-box thinking.

The chief guest for the occasion was Ms. Kiran Singh currently leading HR at Mother Dairy and an alumnus of the Department of Social Work, JMI. She is known for taking the organisation to exceptional heights through her strategic people interventions.

This year’s sports and cultural meet saw the participation of 230 children (aged 10 -14 years) associated with 15 NGOs working in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. Each of the participating groups was mentored by the MSW students placed in these agencies for concurrent fieldwork. The event was sponsored by Mother Dairy, Indian Oil Corporation, Finder India Pvt. Ltd. and the alumni of the Department of Social Work.

The event kicked-off with the student volunteers escorting the eagerly-awaiting children from their respective communities in buses arranged by the Department during the wee hours of the morning.

The Meet opened with the Sports activities at the Jamia Senior Secondary School. The school sports ground buzzed with excitement and energy as the young children took to the tracks for the sack race and obstacle race. As the children inched closer to the finishing line, the ground echoed with the cheers of the teams. Following this, a group task activity unfolded where members of each team cooperated to make the ‘best out of waste’ with newspapers.

After an exhilarating morning of sports, the event shifted to the senior secondary school auditorium for the cultural meet. The cultural event provided each team, comprising of children across age groups, an opportunity to showcase their talents on stage in the singing, dance and skit competition.

The performances revolved around themes of profound social significance such as discrimination against transpersons, girl child education, cleanliness, child labour, cyberbullying, digital literacy, diversity and social harmony. Each performance saw the hall erupting with applause as the audience cheered the participants by humming the songs and swaying to the dances. The Judges of the cultural events were noted alumni.

In the final moments of the event, a palpable sense of anticipation enveloped the venue as participants eagerly awaited the culmination of their efforts – the award ceremony. The guests of honour presented the prizes to the winners of the sports and cultural competitions. The trophy that goes to the agency with the maximum prizes was awarded to The Creative Thinkers Forum for Girls and CASP-Delhi for Boys.

Nevertheless, the true essence of the event transcended mere victory, as participation itself was celebrated as a commendable achievement. Beyond the glimmer of prizes, it was the spirit of engagement, teamwork, creativity and enhancing the self-confidence of the children that truly illuminated the occasion. Indeed, every child returned home a winner with a smile on their young faces carrying their participation prizes and certificates.

The event achieved success through the collaborative efforts of MSW, HRM, ADPH & BSW students, the faculty and non-teaching staff of the Department of Social Work with the stewardship of Prof. Neelam Sukhramani, Head of the Department and Dr. Sanjay Onkar Ingole, Convenor, Inter Agency Sports and Cultural Meet 2024. The Inter Agency Sports and Cultural Meet entails huge logistical support and planning made possible by the team work of several committees namely - sports, cultural, refreshment, transport, prize procurement and distribution, screening and technical committee, support service and public relations.

The department proudly added another chapter to its illustrious legacy of extension activities through the Inter Agency Cultural and Sports Meet 2024.

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