Children take part in a march past at the camp organised by Jharkhand State Council for Child Welfare at Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
As many as 200 underprivileged village children are leading a very different kind of life in the city — a life in which they are learning to stay together, care, share and of course, have fun.
Jharkhand State Council for Child Welfare (JSCCW) is hosting a three-day “Learn to live together” camp for poor schoolchildren, which kicked off at Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Morabadi, in the state capital on Thursday.
BPL children hailing from nondescript villages of the state and in the age group of 9 to 14 years are attending the camp, which is witnessing a large number of activities, including games and trips to a few city landmarks.
“This is the first time that I am attending such a camp and I am simply loving it. We are learning how to stay together and share each other’s problems,” said 14-year-old Nutan Bandra, who studies in Class VIII at St Xavier’s Girls High School, West Singhbhum.
Nutan’s classmate Mary Birhua also said she was having a great time and was particularly enjoying the outdoor activities.
“I had never thought that I would do so many things in one single day. We had never been exposed to such a wide range of activities,” said a wide-eyed Mary.
It’s indeed hectic for the children with the day starting with prayers followed by yoga. Thereafter, they take part in outdoor activities like a game of football while many learn dancing.
Movies form an integral part of recreation too.
On Thursday, the kids watched Salman Khan-starrer Wanted.
The other highlight are the outings. The children were taken to Raj Bhavan on Thursday while they will visit the zoo and the games village on Saturday.
The concluding day will also include a lecture on sports.
On Friday evening, Governor Syed Ahmed paid a visit to the children and also interacted with them.
A cultural programme was presented in the governor’s honour. The children took part in a march past while Jharkhand Armed Police personnel put up a band display.
For many, games are the best part of the camp.
Aradhana Bharti (11), a Class V student of Government Middle School, Gharwa district, rued that sports were never given importance at her school.
“This camp is giving us a lot of opportunities to take part in sports, which we miss at our school. I have decided to request my teachers when I go back to include more sporting activities,” Bharti said.
One of the volunteers Shamshun Nehar, who was spotted taking a general knowledge test, lauded JSCCW. “This kind of initiative is indeed praiseworthy as otherwise, children from BPL category have little chance of knowing city life or enjoying good things,” Nehar said.