The pandemic has left children cooped up in their homes. No school and no outdoor activities for nearly two years took a toll on the mental health of many young ones. Chase Your Dreams, an online co-curricular platform, stepped in to fill this gap.
Launched on November 14, 2021, on the occasion of Children’s Day, Chase Your Dreams offers children a platform to showcase their talents and also addresses mental health issues.
The Chase Your Dreams mobile van has been visiting cities, towns and villages of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and the Northeast and reaching out to children. The campaign calls on children to perform anything they wish to, record it and share on the online platform.
Chase Your Dreams has been conceptualised and initiated by four friends—Rohan Gavaskar, Gautam Bhimani, June Maliah and Saurav Chatterjee.
“We have received about 60,000 videos till now. It is really exciting to see that children have sent all kinds of videos of them dancing, singing, reciting and more. Some have even sent videos of cooking and baking,” said Chatterjee, one of the ideators of the initiative and CEO of High Life Management.
(From left) Gautam Bhimani, Saurav Chatterjee, June Maliah and Rohan Gavaskar. Source: Chase Your Dreams
There is no competition, but the best videos are featured as the video of the week and video of the month on the website. The participants are divided into three age groups — 6-10, 11-14 and 15-18.
The Chase Your Dreams website also has a section for motivational videos where celebrities like actors Parambrata Chatterjee, Rahul Bose, Jisshu Sengupta and Abir Chatterjee, cricketers Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan, singers Shaan and Usha Uthup, and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia have recorded inspirational message for the kids. Programme directors June Maliah and Rohan Gavaskar have also delivered short motivational messages.
“Since schools are closed, I know you must be feeling sad at home. You are not being able to meet your friends, play or share tiffin. Many of you are extremely bored. So, to drive away your boredom, we have launched Chase Your Dreams,” Maliah says in her video message.
Gavaskar’s message to the kids is a call to believe in themselves. “It has been tough for all of us, especially the younger generation, who need to be out there, enjoying the childhood. But you know what, don’t give up on your dreams. Chase your dream, whatever it may be, singing, cooking, playing a sport, acting, drama…Chase your dream and believe in yourself.”
Chatterjee underlined the importance of co-curricular activities. “What you learn from co-curricular activities are skills that you develop for life. Singing, dancing help boost confidence and academics alone cannot do that. So, during this time, we felt the need to launch Chase Your Dreams to help children follow their passion and nurture their talents,” Chatterjee said.
All videos can be viewed on the official website—chaseyourdreams.org.in