Jharkhand’s budding talents will give another shot to overcome two years of failure and bag a central award for children, the jinx mainly seen as the result of a tardy approach and lack of co-ordination among state bureaucrats.
If chosen, the winner will earn recognition for superlative achievements in the fields of studies, art and culture or sports under the coveted National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, better known as Rashtriya Bal Purashkar.
The state department of social welfare, women and child welfare received information from the Union ministry of women and child development earlier this month to send entries for the prize.
It has now begun scouting for talents with the help of deputy commissioners (DC) in the 24 districts of Jharkhand.
The DCs will in turn take help from the district superintendents of education, sports officers, institutes and art and culture department officials to recommend names.
There is no restriction on the number of entries for any of the three fields. Children between 4 and 15 are entitled for the award. Under the scheme, one gold medal will be up for grabs at the national level.
The gold medallist will get cash prize of Rs 20,000, a citation and a medal, whereas 35 silver medallists (one for each state and union territory) will be awarded cash prize of Rs 10,000, a medal and a citation.
Rajiv Ranjan, assistant director of the state social welfare, women and child development department, said, “We are planning to send the entries within 30 days though the deadline set by the Union ministry is April 30. We are working in close co-ordination with the primary education department, art institutes and district sports officers to scout for talent.”
He added the department had also informed anganwadi workers, citing that children were performing exceptionally in anganwadi kendras, too. “In this way, we can ensure a good number of entries and give our budding talents a good chance to gain recognition at the national level,” he added.
The winners will be awarded in Delhi on November 14.
An official of the state social welfare department said, “We were unable to send the nominations in the last two years due to lack of co-ordination and failure of the government machinery,” an official maintained.
However, Ranjan said they were hopeful this year that the youngsters would finally gain recognition, as the officials are working in close co-ordination with all stakeholders to send the entries early.