New Delhi [India], November 18 (ANI): World Children’s Day was celebrated today in a festive event where children played a friendly futsal match, performed a choreographed dance with leaders and celebrities on their side, sending a fervent message on how important it is for them to feel celebrated, included, and be treated fairly and equally whoever they are and wherever they live.

Hundreds of children gathered in Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in South Delhi. A team of 20 children played a friendly futsal match with the legendary cricketer and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and celebrated Bollywood Star and UNICEF’s Celebrity Advocate Ayushmann Khurrana as read in a statement by UNICEF.
Legendary cricketer and Regional Ambassador for UNICEF South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar, said, “I’ve always believed that sports liberate us from many shackles and help 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.”

Renowned musician Ricky Kej, also a Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF, conducted a musical concert for, about and with children. Nearly a hundred children rendered an art performance creatively depicting unity in diversity, inclusion and equality.

Speaking at the event, Union Secretary, Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Meeta Rajivlochan said, “The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports focuses on tailored and holistic well-being and development of young people through country-wide volunteering organisations. Let us commit today to ensuring 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 opening remarks, UNICEF Representative to India, Cynthia McCaffrey 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 in improving outcomes for its youngest stakeholders and sees children as force multipliers for generational transformations. I thank the Secretary of Youth Affairs and celebrities who joined today and reinforced the message of fighting discrimination and symbolically kicking it out of the park through sports.”

Bollywood actor 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.”

Two-time Grammy award winner and UNICEF Celebrity Supporter, Ricky Kej along with virtuoso musicians from across the country performed a specially crafted audio-visual experience dedicated to children and future leaders of the world – meant to not only inspire change but also encourage children to tap into their creativity.
Famed Indian sprinter Hima Das joined the children-centred activities of UNICEF Assam in marking World Children’s Day.

A creative art presentation by 100 school children highlighted stories of inclusion and non-discrimination in a captivating dance form.
This World Children’s Day’s theme is on sports as a powerful means to promote inclusion, equality and non-discrimination. Sports also help children develop important life skills such as leadership, discipline, teamwork, tolerance, hard work and cooperation. (ANI)

There can’t be a better time to celebrate India’s stellar show at the CWG than the month the nation is observing 75 years of Independence. Sport has been a vehicle of growth for all, especially for women. It has helped them gain self-esteem, courage and a force with which to smash the hurdles of patriarchy and stigma. It has the power to unite everyone.

When Saikhom Mirabai Chanu dropped the barbell with a successful 109 kg lift, a thunderous applause roared through the hall. Chanu only stepped back gently, with her usual smile and humble ‘Namaste’. Everyone was awed by the way Chanu went on to not only register India’s first Gold this Commonwealth Games, but also to write a new record to her name. This is after Sanket Sargar’s silver and P Gururaja’s bronze, which opened India’s account.

For 11 days, the entire nation was following up on this mega event with bated breath. As the curtains fell, a triumphant Indian contingent returned with one of the best performances at the Commonwealth Games with 61 medals – 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze, that too without inclusion of shooting, one of our strong points. There cannot be a better time to celebrate this victory than the month the nation is observing 75th Independence Day as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

On the brink of victory, all athletes also resonated their stories of perseverance and agility in the face of adversity. These stories may be more challenging for women contingent, who triumphed not only the bars set by their immediate competitors, but also the bars set by society, family, and other external authorities. From Sushila Devi Likmabam, and Tulika Maan’s individual silver in Judo to Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat’s individual gold in wrestling; from Nitu Ghangas and Nikhat Zareen’s individual gold to PV Sindhu’s gold in badminton, we’ve seen some incredible performances this year. Our women’s hockey team also clinched bronze in a nail-biting match.

Apart from the regular action, India also awakened to witness a ‘new’ sport, Lawn Balls, where our Women’s fours team struck gold. Progressing slowly but with great precision and dedication in a sport that was almost alien to an entire nation, and then winning the first ever medal and that too gold, is truly incredible. It is interesting to note that the team comprising Rupa Rani Tirkey, Lovely Choubey, Pinki Singh and Nayanmoni Saikia all had different beginnings.

Rupa was once a kabaddi player, Nayanmoni a weightlifter, Pinki a cricketer, while Lovely was a sprinter. They all chose to tread on a path less taken and have achieved glory in that.

The glory, however, is not singular for women in sports. As much as it is imbibed with the hurdles of the past, going ahead, it provides a sense of empowerment to them, an empowerment sport is providing in current times. Sport has the power to unite everyone irrespective of caste, creed, or gender in achieving the ultimatum both personally and professionally. We shall, however, also acknowledge how some world events included women’s participation in some sports very lately.

Women’s Boxing, for example, where we have our champions Mary Kom, Nikhat Zareen, and the likes, was only introduced at the 2012 London Olympics for the first time. Women’s cricket, on the other hand, debuted only at the Commonwealth Games, where our team made us proud with a silver.

Nevertheless, sport has been a vehicle of growth for all, especially for women for years. It has helped them gain self-esteem, courage, and a force to smash the hurdles of patriarchy and societal stigma. With modernity steeping in, as society progressed, we saw various upliftment in sports around the world. Several champions have been born, who are not only medal winners, but also leaders and advocates for their sport and for budding players. This virtue of leadership is something sport teaches us all.

Let us also not shadow the fact that most of our women sportspersons come from rural, underprivileged areas. It is with their thriving efforts that they earn some bread and due respect.

It is hence upon us to make better provisions with collective efforts so that our girls get the required support and assistance right from a young age to prosper in their respective sports. With proper recognition and equal opportunities, women can be great movers of society and the nation’s economy.

In today’s fast-moving world, the hurdles faced by our women players might be different. Some are ridden with poverty, some with societal stigma and gender discrimination, some don’t have required infrastructure, and some struggle under the wrath of patriarchy. It is hence imperative to say when a Chanu, Nikhat, or Sindhu win, they inspire a million others who await that glimmer of light, hope and accomplishment to take a step forward.

Therefore, to grow as a society and nation for a better tomorrow, we should empower our women through sports. Because, every time they kick a ball, it is not only the ball but also the shackles that are tied to them; every time they lift up a barbell, it is not only the plates they lift up, but all hurdles they face, before crashing it down to the ground.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 16 (ANI): The legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will continue as UNICEF‘s ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for a record 20th year, working for the welfare of underprivileged children.

Sachin Tendulkar has been associated with global causes for many years. He has been consistently active in batting for the good of underprivileged children. Sachin’s individual, as well as collaborative efforts towards health, education & sports initiatives for children, has been commendable.

Honouring his relentless efforts to voice for the rights of children, UNICEF has extended their partnership for a record 20th year.

In a tweet reply, Sachin said, “It’s been great working with UNICEF all these years. Wonderful memories of the impactful work the team has executed. The efforts towards giving wings to children’s dreams are very satisfying. Looking forward to our next phase of the partnership. @UNICEFROSA @G_LaryeaAdjei.”

Sachin has been associated with UNICEF for long for various causes. In 2003, he was chosen to take lead in the initiative to create awareness about polio and promote polio prevention in India. Later in 2008, he was roped in to create and promote hygiene and sanitation among communities and has been continuing to do so over the years. In 2013, he was appointed UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia to advocate for good hygiene and sanitation across the region.

With the Government of India launching the Swachh Bharat Mission, Sachin extended his role to lead the Team Swachh Bharat campaign for UNICEF in India. This campaign reached every nook and corner of the country.

He was awarded the “Most Effective Swachh Bharat Ambassador” award by the President of India during an awards function in 2020. Sachin has been vocal through these campaigns about the importance of washing hands before meals and sanitizing after defecation, primarily aimed at teaching children the basics of cleanliness.

Over the years, Sachin has been to many remote places to interact with underprivileged children, empower girls to take up sports, and to launch many projects for their welfare. His visit to the Ratnagiri district in the western state of Maharashtra to interact with the visually challenged boys and girls staying at a residential school, his visit to remote areas of Madhya Pradesh to interact with underprivileged kids are few of the examples.

In 2019, he went on a three-day trip to Nepal to raise awareness for UNICEF Nepal’s ‘Bat for Brain Development’ campaign. These are but a few examples of the continuous humanitarian efforts Sachin has been making through his association with UNICEF. These visits not only gave the campaign momentum but also gave people hope through the words of Sachin.

Being an inspiration and idol for many both on and off the field, Sachin Tendulkar has been a key influencer with his social work. In his almost two-decade-long partnership with UNICEF, he has been vital in furthering the campaigns, especially the ones aimed at children.

“One day, every child will be vaccinated against deadly diseases. One day, every child will have clean water.” – Sachin can be heard saying these lines in one of the promotional videos for UNICEF. Given the pandemic period we live in, and with UNICEF bestowing immense faith on Sachin for a record 20th year, the determination associated with these lines is set to grow stronger. (ANI)

MUMBAI: “Children must have the right to play. It is the best medium to help them channel their energy and teach them some of life’s most valuable lessons-on strength and determination, humility and mutual respect, on resilience and sportsmanship,” Sachin Tendulkar has mentioned in a special article the cricket legend has penned for UNICEF India. Tendulkar is also the regional goodwill ambassador for South Asia.

Given below is the article, which was tweeted by UNICEF India on Saturday.

“The late, great cricket coach, Achrekar Sir once told me: No one is bigger than the game. It was one of the most profound pieces of advice that I ever received and it stayed with me throughout my years in the sport. The game does not discriminate; it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you have come from. It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy. As long as there is passion in your heart, the game is all yours.

That is the amazing thing about sport. It brings you hope and joy even in the most challenging circumstances. You can leave behind all your doubts, fears, and prejudices that may have caged you, and give in to your most natural instinct: to play.

Children must have the right to play. It is the best medium to help them channel their energy and teach them some of life’s most valuable lessons-on strength and determination, humility and mutual respect, on resilience and sportsmanship.

To be able to play with an open mind encourages children to push their limits, and in the process, discover their own potential. Throughout my career, I have always played with my heart. It was always about the process and not the result. I played because cricket gave me, and will always give me joy.

My father would always tell me: Be a good person first; everything else can come later. Sport is the best teacher to build character. When you are on a sports field, be it cricket or badminton, football or hockey, you let go of everything else and become a sportsperson, and only that.

You stand on the same platform as everyone else and learn to win with dignity and accept defeat with humility. Sport does not see your gender, just your hard work.

It is for this very reason that I believe sport is a great medium to empower girls. In November 2019, when I visited Nepal as a UNICEF ambassador and engaged with the women’s team in a game of cricket, the confidence they exuded left me impressed. The enthusiasm of the cricketers participating in the Women’s Cricket League in October 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir was inspirational.

At home, or in society at large, girls may face various kinds of discrimination, but on the sports field they have an opportunity to showcase their talent. This helps them grow as individuals. The Indian Women’s Hockey team played brilliantly in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and produced many such examples. The captain, Rani Rampal‘s father could not afford to buy her a hockey stick when she was growing up, so she would play with a broken one; Salima Tete from Jharkhand would play with wooden sticks for the same reason. Deep Grace Ekka’s family was criticized because she was ‘allowed’ to play the game despite being a girl.

It is the same purpose that drives teenage footballer, Pria Dutta of Bangladesh to play for the national football team. Pria’s father is a carpenter who has to work hard to sustain his family of four. All of her difficulties, including the bias of society, fade once Pria, the team’s top striker, dribbles the football. She knows that on the field, she is invincible and that motivates her to work harder.

The big message is this: Let every child, girl and boy, play a sport. It will help their physical and mental growth. As the UNICEF Cricket for Good ambassador at the 2017 Women’s World Cup, my aim was to motivate girls to pick up the sport and participate in world-class championships. Sport, like music, transcends boundaries and helps in moulding our children into well-rounded individuals who will be an asset to our society. Let’s give them that opportunity.”

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar bagged the ‘Most Effective Swachhata Ambassador’ award for making use of his popularity and fame to ensure India achieves its goal of a Swachh Bharat.

Sachin Tendulkar has been promoting cleanliness drives in India for almost 10 years. (Photo: PTI)

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar bagged the ‘Most Effective Swachhata Ambassador’ award at India Today Group’s fifth edition of the Safaigiri Awards for utilizing his popularity and fame to ensure India achieves its goal of a Swachh Bharat.

Sachin Tendulkar has been promoting cleanliness drives in India for almost 10 years.

On September 18, 2011, during Support My School telethon’, Sachin Tendulkar helped raise crores more than the target set for creation of basic facilities in 140 government schools across India, particularly toilets for girl students.

Revered as the ‘god of cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of India’s swachhata ambassadors’ in 2014. After accepting his nomination, Tendulkar’s first campaign was cleaning up a locality near his home in Mumbai.

The former Indian cricketer had launched Mission-24’, aimed at improving the quality of life in Mumbai’s M East ward which known to have ranked the lowest in human development among the city’s 24 wards in the Mumbai Human Development Report 2009.

The project was taken up by two NGOs and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, with an aim to improve basic amenities like hospitals, schools, water and drainage systems.

Sachin Tendulkar’s universal appeal across age, gender and class set him apart from other ambassadors. With around 30 million followers on Twitter and Facebook, he also wields tremendous influence on social media.
Tendulkar was honoured with Bharat Ratna in 2014, becoming the youngest recipient of the highest civilian award in the country.


NEW DELHI: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar Sunday joined thousands of runners in New Delhi Marathon and raised Rs 15 lakh for family members of the Pulwama terror attack martyrs.

Before the start of each of the four races at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Tendulkar did 10 push-ups as part of the #KeepMoving Push-up Challenge and urged the runners to join him in the exercise.

“Whatever will be the fund that we receive from here, it will all be donated for a good cause, a bigger cause. It will be donated to the families of the martyrs. I am sure you understand the feelings and hope everyone joins us in this movement,” Tendulkar said.

More than 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, the deadliest in three decades.

Thousands of runners took part in the four races — 42.195km long full marathon (2000), 21.095km half marathon (6000), timed 10km (5500)run and 5km Swachch Bharat Run (4500).

Seeing the big turnout, Tendulkar said, “I am especially delighted to see so many children participating. It is a very big step in life to participate in a marathon and not to be intimidated by seeing so many adults around. You are the next generation who will take over the reins of our nation.“The whole dream is to transform India from a sports loving nation into a sports playing nation for a healthy active lifestyle. And if children are starting from here, things are going to be better and better.“So well done Delhi, keep up your energy to run in the marathon. It is fantastic that you all are here with so much enthusiasm and energy.”

Mumbai , Mar 07 (ANI): Cricket legend and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday inaugurated a children’s park that he renewed in Bandra area of Mumbai. The park was reportedly refurbished with his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) funds. People thronged the area to watch the cricket star and children could be seen playing in the park with Sachin.

Tendulkar said: “Investing in Early Child Development is one of the best investments a country can make to boost economic growth, promote peaceful and sustainable societies, and eliminate extreme poverty and inequality.

Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar was confident India would move from a “global powerhouse” to becoming “the undoubted superpower” by 2050 with the country investing in Early Child Development.

Talking on Thursday to celebrate India’s 72 years of independence, Tendulkar said: “Investing in Early Child Development is one of the best investments a country can make to boost economic growth, promote peaceful and sustainable societies, and eliminate extreme poverty and inequality.

“By having our children eat the correct food, learn new things through playing, and receiving limitless love from both parents — we can shape the future of India positively. We can make our country the undoubted superpower by 2050.”

Tendulkar said that through his role in UNICEF, he has become more aware of the “social, cultural and economic impacts of Early Childhood Development” and that a child starts to learn not only by spending time with parents but also from the mother’s womb. He added that for the brain to develop, “a child must grow up in a safe and loving environment, be fed on the right nutrition and get a positive stimulus from parents and caregivers”.

He added: “A baby’s brain growth starts right from the prenatal stage, and 80% of it gets developed by the age of two. The time parents spend with the baby, and the way it is spent, therefore set the path for how the baby’s adulthood shapes up. A practice dating back several thousands of years in our culture is ‘Garbh Sanskar’ — which means ‘educating the foetus in the womb’.”

The 46-year-old former India captain spoke from his personal experience, having been brought up in a caring manner by his parents and siblings, encouraging him to focus on his chosen sport, cricket.

Tendulkar said: “An important aspect of rearing a child is equal parenting. Children need the love and affection of a father as much as that of a mother. Evidence suggests that a father’s participation from the early stages of parenting has an overall positive impact on the child. Not just that, the mother’s well-being is also taken care of, by ensuring that she is not disproportionately burdened.”

Like in cricket, Tendulkar said that “rotating strike between partners is as important in rearing a child”. He also spoke about the importance of bringing up a child in a peaceful environment. “Violence and abuse hamper a child’s morale and have a long-standing impact on his or her psychological development,” he said while also stressing the importance of giving children access to “clean drinking water, good sanitation practices and timely vaccinations” to ensure that the child doesn’t fall prey to diseases like malaria and diarrhoea.

UNICEF ambassador Sachin Tendulkar raised awareness for ‘Bat for Brain Development’ campaign.

KATHMANDU: Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was here on a three-day trip to raise awareness for the UNICEF Nepal’s ‘Bat for Brain Development’ campaign.

A UNICEF ambassador, Tendulkar engaged in a game of cricket with the Nepal women’s team, visited the famous Pashupati Temple and met the Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli, during his stay here.

“Thank you for meeting me despite health issues @PM_Nepal Shri Oli ji, I wish you a speedy recovery. I feel touched by the love and warmth received in Nepal. Like the beautiful lamp you gifted – may there be brightness, happiness & prosperity all over the world. @unicef_nepal,” Tendulkar tweeted.

Tendukar was appointed UNICEF’s first brand ambassador for South Asia in November 2013 and his put his weight behind several issue including empowering girls through sports.

Tendukar was appointed UNICEF’s first brand ambassador for South Asia in November 2013 and his put his weight behind several issue including empowering girls through sports.

The charity match saw Ponting XI beat Gilchrist XI by 1 run in an entertaining game which had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Wasim Akram in action.

Cricket Australia on Sunday confirmed that the Bushfire charity cricket match featuring legends of the past managed to raise over USD 7.7 million for the communities devastated by the fires that have ravaged Australia for months.

Two teams led by Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist played against each other in a 10-overs-per-side match in which Ponting XI emerged victorious by 1 run against Gilchrist XI at the Melbourne Junction Oval stadium.

Ponting XI posted 104 for 5 on the board in 10 overs with former West Indies captain Brian Lara top-scoring with 30 runs off 11 balls. His knock included 3 boundaries and two sixes.

Captain Ricky Ponting himself contributed with 26 runs while Matthew Hayden and Luke Hodge made 16 and 11 runs respectively.

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and ex-Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds picked up a wicket each for Gilchrist XI.

In reply the Gilchrist XI started off well with Shane Watson and Adam Gilchrist adding 49 runs for the first wicket. Watson top-scored with 30 runs while Gilchrist made 11 in the partnership.

But their innings was derailed by speedster Brett Lee and Luke Hodge, who ran through the batting lineup, picking up 3 wickets in quick succession.

Brad Hodge was sent back for a duck while Yuvraj managed just 2 off 6 balls. Andrew Symonds tried his best with 29 off 13 balls but it wasn’t enough to get his team over the finish line. Lee finished with 2 for 11 while Hodge bagged a wicket for 8 runs.

During the mid-innings break, former India captain and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar padded up and faced 2019 Women’s Cricketer of the Year Ellyse Perry and Annabel Sutherland for an over.

Tendulkar, who was also coaching the Ponting XI, said while walking up to the pitch that it was the first time in five years that he was picking up a bat.

The 46-year-old got off the mark with a boundary and then took a couple of runs but blocked out the rest of the deliveries. Perry bowled 3 balls to Tendulkar before handing it over to her teammate Annabel Sutherland for the remaining two deliveries.