Every child enjoys a special talent – be it technical or artistic. Bearing this in mind, Bhumi’s Ignite programme for underprivileged children has evolved to encapsulate not just academics but arts too. Ignite’s very purpose and value was recently grounded further by one of our children in Chennai.
Kannan, a class 7 student from ICCW shelter home in Chennai, won 3rd prize in Darshan’s ‘Dance Chennai Dance’ event on Oct 2, 2017. This winning moment was earned from years of practice by the child, along with support of Bhumi volunteers. Bhumi’s dance project (called deStep) has been functional at ICCW for couple of years now. The project was started when Bhumi volunteers observed the raw talent in children at Nakshatra (an annual inter-home talent fest); the volunteers then and there decided to start deStep and groom those children.
‘Dance Chennai Dance’ is a huge platform for children to display their grooves and moves. Kannan and one other student from ICCW participated in the mega event. It was first time that they experienced a stage as grand as this, where their talent would be seen by a big crowd. Though all the children performed well, Kannan outdid at various levels of the competition. His powerful and elegant performance won him a spot among the 22 finalists. His continued rock-solid performance bagged him the third prize in the finals.
“Such a stage is new to me; first time participating in a dance show. Many spoke Hindi. I did not even know how to converse with them, I just went and danced” Kannan shares his experience. Kannan’s birthday fell on the same day of the event, a perfect day that adds to his memorable childhood. “… All the people there wished me. I felt very happy. Till now, I haven’t received so many wishes. I enjoyed a lot”. This competition and resulting success is a motivation that has led Kannan to set a goal for himself. He wishes to practice more and improve his talent. Credit is also shared by volunteers for all the training and motivation provided.
It is not very common to see the participation of underprivileged children in such events. Arts, dance and sports are considered a means to establish equality among children. Benefits of non-academic Ignite projects also include motivating children to an active and healthy life. The youth volunteers of Bhumi are determined to act upon realizing the Global Goals of quality education, health and reducing poverty; they are leading the way to a better future.