In India, the inclusion of Art in education has always been an important part of the discourse. The United Nations has recognized that arts and sports play a key role towards peace-building, health and reduction of inequalities. The recent Draft National Education Policy (NPE), 2019 also cites that all school subjects should be considered curricular rather than extra-curricular or co-curricular, including sports, yoga, dance, music, drawing, painting, sculpting, pottery making, etc.
To celebrate Indian Art and Culture, and promote Art Education for our children’s overall development, ‘Khilta Bachpan-Khilta Bharat’, a cultural program was organized by (CCRT), New Delhi in collaboration with ChildFund India today from 10.30 AM to 12.00 Noon at CCRT in Dwarka, New Delhi.
Around 150 government school students and 10 CCRT scholarship-holders participated in this event showcasing the different aspects of Indian culture through performing and visual arts.
Smt. Nirupama Kotru, Joint Secretary (Ministry of Culture) Government of India was the Guest of Honour. She addressed the most vital dilemma being faced by the millennial children of balancing between the latest technology and the gadgets which come along with it and the traditional outlets of entertainment which were enjoyed by their earlier generations.
The event saw various amazing performances by the school students. A group of students presented “Fusion – Expression through performance”, an enchanting piece of Hindustani and Carnatic music woven together. Another group presented a Mime act called “Expression of children through Human machine”, stressing the importance of human emotions. An enthralling performance of Odissi dance was staged by CCRT scholarship holders and school children bringing forth the beauty and grace of this Indian classical treasure.
Jogi singers of Haryana are traditional folk singers who reflect their folklore and culture through their excellent ballads and songs of devotion. This art is on the verge of extinction. In order to preserve and promote this tradition, a documentary film – ‘Jogi Singers of Haryana’, directed by Shri Sudhir K Sharma and produced by CCRT, was released on this occasion.
The Jogis who once held sway over the cultural scene of Haryana are now on their way out because there are not many takers for their age long genre. They are traditional folk singers who sing to the accompaniment of their sarangi long narrative songs, called kissas (ballads), highlighting the courage, sacrifice, and selfless love of the legendary heroes viz Amar Singh Rathor, Alha-Udal, Gora-Badal, Jaimal-Fatta, Nihalde, Harphool Singh Jat, etc.
Also, the 5th book in the series of Lesser Known Cities i.e. “Arrahnaama”, a book written by Shri Vimal Kumar and published by CCRT was released by the honorary guests. The book highlights the culture, lifestyle and traditions of Arrah city in Bihar.
“Arts is the most effective channel for creative expression, development and to influence young minds. We are thankful to CCRT for their support as this collaboration provides us with an opportunity to promote our “Khilta Bachpan” campaign which contributes to the Draft NPE, 2019. It uses the medium of Arts to promote creative expression, and cognitive, social and emotional learning in children. It also helps children to inculcate the appreciation for the richness and diversity of arts in the country, and gives them a platform as well as an opportunity to Engage, Express and Empower,” shared Neelam Makhijani, Country Director and CEO of ChildFund India at the event.
On this occasion, Rishi Kumar Vashist, Director In-charge at Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) said, that CCRT has made a new beginning with this programme, where CCRT scholarship-holders have set up an innovative example of ‘Child to Child learning’. He expressed the confidence that these children will make this world a better place to live for all of us by becoming responsible and sensitive citizens of this country due to Art Intervention, provided by CCRT & ChildFund India jointly in this collaborative project titled ‘Khilta Bachpan-Khilta Bharat’.
The event was attended by government school children, Principals, representatives from various corporate organizations, government and non- governmental organizations as well as individuals.
About ChildFund India
For nearly 7 decades, ChildFund India, a child development organization, has been working with underprivileged children, youth and families from the most remote, extremely backward and hard-to-reach areas, with a vision of building “an India where children lead a dignified life and achieve their full potential”. ChildFund India annually reaches nearly3.5 million children, youth, and their families across 15 States through its long-term programs. ChildFund’s unique programs provide comprehensive support to children from their conception until they reach 24 years of age by integrating health, nutrition, sanitation, gender equality, disability, education, Arts, skill training, livelihoods, child protection and humanitarian relief work.
ChildFund’s programs give equal importance to recreational activities as much as they give to education. To promote Indian Art and Culture among Government school students throughout the country, ChildFund has been implementing Khilta Bachpan campaign, with ‘Arts’ as a tool to help children achieve their full potential and become responsible citizens, hence breaking the generational cycle of poverty. This award-winning organization has been successful in establishing relations with relevant stakeholders including the communities it works with, district, state and national government bodies, academic institutions, media, funding agencies and corporates to achieve their mutual goals.
About Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT)
The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) has been set up under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India in the service of education specializing in the area of linking education with culture. The CCRT organizes a variety of training programmes for administrators, teacher educators, in service teachers of all levels and students. Besides this, the scholarship and fellowship schemes to facilitate the training and research conducted in the field of Indian Art & Culture are also implemented by CCRT. The audio-visual material and publications to create awareness about our rich culture and natural heritage are also developed by CCRT.
In order to extend its outreach and coverage of its various programmes, CCRT is networking with several educational institutions to fulfill its mandate of promoting cognitive, social and emotional learning at the same time encourage creative expressions and inculcate in children and youth a sense of appreciation for the richness and diversity of arts in India.