On the account of World Children’s Day, 20th November 2018, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar along with the other dignitaries discussed the importance of education, hygiene, and sports in the life of children. Dignitaries which took part in the discussion included Soundarya Pradhan, World Junior Chess Champion under the visually impaired category, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder Trustee of Special Olympics Bharat and Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India representative.
The event was organised by the UNICEF India who is consistently supporting the children rights and taking regular initiatives for the improvement of the education system in India. The theme for this year was the schools as the foundation for the safe and supportive environment for children. Also, the UNICEF painted the world Blue on this children day, where everyone was dressed in blue colour to support the cause of children rights throughout the world.
For this particular year, UNICEF celebrated World Children’s Day with Code Blue “Go Blue”. The code blue represents the unification of people in support of children rights. In addition to that, UNICEF has also shared a video featuring various Hollywood celebrities including Millie Bobby Brown(Stranger Things), Liam Neeson, Lilly Singh (YouTube Sensation), Dua Lipa and Orlando Bloom supporting Code Blue
Talking about the Indian event, Sachin Tendulkar also supported the cause by wearing a blue colour T-Shirt and discussed on various factors which can contribute to children growth and development
In the panel discussion, Sachin Tendulkar emphasized the importance of balance between sports and education in the children’s life. Talking about the supportive environment for the children in schools, Sachin Tendulkar stated that, sports always made him excited at his young age as it was a stress buster for him and helped to cope up the pressure of studies. He used to play various sports including football, cricket, hockey, table tennis and badminton. He feels that sport has the strength to bring everyone together and it does not recognize the colour of your skin, know your bank balance, or differentiate between a boy or girl. It doesn’t discriminate. That is best for children. It helps in the overall development.
While performing in team sports, it teaches you real-life lessons. Many lessons he learnt on the field, he implemented those in his life off the field. He underlined the point that never ignore your studies, as the study is equally important as any sports activity and integration of both helps in overall child development.
He also emphasized about taking the ownership and responsibility, in his comparison he said, as a batsman, he has to take the ownership of cricketing pitch, in a similar way a child should take the ownership of school by being responsible and following the teacher’s guidelines to excel in life. When sports and education work together in harmony, the results follow eventually.
When asked, What are the three most fundamental things which make the school or foundation strong for every boy or girl in the country. In response to that, he added respective points, equal opportunities for both boys and girls, proper hygiene facility at school and encouraging kids to take sports which will keep them fit and healthy, forming a healthy nation.
In this discussion, Soundarya Pradhan, visually impaired Chess Champion also shared his views on the challenges he faced through the course of his journey and also talked about the mindset of schools, and people, where he faced rejection and indifferent behaviour at various levels on account of being blind.
After the conclusion of this discussion, the master blaster joined an exhibition football match with kids at Thyagraj Sports Complex