Bhubaneswar, 19th November, 2022: Seventeen-year-old Odia boy, Bablu Munda, who is an International Wushu (A Chinese Martial Art form) player, represented Odisha in a national level festive event organized by UNICEF at Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in South Delhi on World Children’s Day.
In the event, a friendly futsal match was organized for the children where Bablu along with other children from across the nation were felicitated by legendary cricketer and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood Star and UNICEF’s Celebrity Advocate, Ayushmann Khurrana.
Speaking at the event, Smt. 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 well-being and development of young people through country-wide volunteering organizations.
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.”
Bablu Munda, who lost his parents when he was one year old is from Sialijoda village under Joda block of Keonjhar district in Odisha. Despite all grievances and difficulties, Bablu completed his Primary education in 2016, he had at least 10 medals (7 Gold, 1 Silver, 4 Bronze).
He got into the National team after winning a silver medal in the 17th Sub-Junior Wushu National Championship held in 2018 at Jammu & Kashmir.
Expressing his feelings, Bablu Munda, said, “I am very proud to represent my state in the national level and feel delighted that I could meet and play Football with Sachin Tendulkar and Ayusmaan Khurana and made so many friends there.
I did not expect that I would have so enriching experiences in these three days event.” Giving a message to millions of children facing hardships, Bablu said, “I dared to dream. I wish all kids too do so and realize their dreams.”
Following the theme on sports to promote inclusion, equality and non-discrimination by sending a fervent message on how important it is for children a team of 20 children played a friendly futsal match with Sachin Tendulkar and Ayusmaan khurana. Smt. Meeta Rajivlochan, Secretary Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and Ms. Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative to India cheered the children.
Renowned musician Ricky Kej, also a Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF, conducted a musical concert for, about, and with children.
Nearly 100 children rendered an art performance creatively depicting unity in diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Ms. 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 Sports and celebrities who joined today and reinforced the message on fighting discrimination and symbolically kicking it out of the park through sports.