Bal Mitra Gram Sports Festival: Promoting development through sports opportunities
Participation in sports improves children’s educational attainment and skills development including empowerment, leadership and self-esteem – contributing to their overall well-being and future prospects (Participation in Sport Can Improve Children’s Learning and Skills Development, 2019).
Sports not only promotes children’s health and physical development; many empirical evidences suggest that sports can have a powerful impact on their overall education and life skills development. These evidences must be employed for enhanced opportunities for sports and should lead to more investments in sports especially for the most vulnerable children.
In this regard, Bal Mitra Gram (BMG) that aims for the protection of children at the grassroots by developing a child-centric community development strategy, organized the first sports festival at Domchanch block in Koderma district in Jharkhand.
15 children’s teams from different Bal Mitra villages participated in the festival. Many children from the Bal Mitra Gram actively participated in the festival. During the festival, kabaddi and football competitions for children were organized. All children were seemed very excited during the competition and displayed healthy sportsmanship spirits.
Details of the festival/programme were as follows:
- Bal Mitra Gram Sports Festival was organized under the joint aegis of Koderma police and KSCF. Various dignitaries participated in the event, such as block head – Mr. Satyanerayan Yadav, the local MLA and former education minister, Dr. Neera Yadav. And Mr. Kumar Gaurav, the Koderma SP attended the event as a chief guest.
- SP Koderma, Mr. Kumar Gaurav had announced that sports coaches will be provided by the police department to enhance the sports talent of the children in the Bal Mitra villages, to enhance the confidence in the children.
- The local MLA and former education minister, Dr. Neera Yadav had announced that 500 sports jerseys and track suits for the children of BMG to be provided, which will cost around 2 Lakh Indian Rupees.
- Domchanch block head Mr. Satyanerayan Yadav appreciated the work done by KSCF of ensuring education, sports and safety of children in the entire district including Domchanch. He said, that as a public representative and social worker, he will always be going to support children and the organization. In addition, he announced to provide sports jerseys to 51 players who participated in the sports competition. The cost of which is around 25000/- INR.
- It was decided to constitute “Bal Mitra Village Sports Club” in various gram panchayats of the district and organize annual Bal Mitra Gram sports festival. And in order to scale the impact, the BMG programme looks forward to expand the sports coaching and competition to child-friendly villages in other states.
The sports festival organized by Bal Mitra Grams programme is an innovative step towards promoting holistic development amongst children. This initiative will help children realize their capabilities, talents and will enhance their sports skills and confidence. The participation of children, especially the active participation of girls reflects the growing gender equalities in the Bal Mitra villages.
Overall, the sports festival as well as the future promises made, have a very clear goal of protecting children from exploitations, spreading awareness about their rights and promoting education with skill development. The festival aims for long-term social change with inter-related goals; the clarity in purpose with efficient execution promises great results.
Participation in Sport Can Improve Children’s Learning and Skills Development. (2019, March 26). UNICEF-IRC. https://www.unicef-irc.org/article/1900-participation-in-sport-can-improve-childrens-learning-and-skills-development.html