Sporting Smiles - Concern India Foundation
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Thursday, February, 27th, 2014

Sporting Smiles

“Winning isn’t everything but wanting to win is,” said Vince Lombardi. Keeping this thought in mind, Concern India Foundation organises an Inter NGO Sports Meet for underprivileged children who cannot enjoy all the facilities life can offer. Each year this event brings smiles on the faces of the young athletes, who aspire to be professional sportsmen.

This year, the event in Kolkata saw participation from ten NGOs from across West Bengal. The teams reported at 8:30 am at the venue and t-shirts and caps were distributed among the children. This was followed by a light breakfast.

The races were organised according to the age groups of the children. For professional assistance, the West Bengal Athletic Association had appointed 10 coaches who conducted the races smoothly. The children of all the teams were thoroughly enthusiastic and enjoyed themselves to the core. A few of them even won more than one medal. The Best Athletes- one from the boys’ group and one from the girls’ – won a trophy each for being an overall sporting champion.

At the end of the marvelous event, I was glad to see so many smiling faces bidding us goodbye. Their joy and smiles reminded me of Rabindranath Tagore’s words, “Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”

Sudakshina Aich, Programmes Co-ordinator, Concern India Foundation (Kolkata)

Friday, February, 21st, 2014

Golden Years Made Better

One of my favourite programmes at Concern India Foundation is the old age home we support for destitute, abandoned and the terminally ill in Hyderabad. It is very difficult to accept that these people who have given their lives to their children are now abandoned by them. However, I like the programme because of the way the staff looks after the elderly as if they are a part of their own family. Their interaction with them is heart-touching.

The elderly love to talk and spend time with people who come to meet them and most often just a simple smile makes them very happy and contented. As it’s famously say, “In youth, the days are short and the years are long but in old age, the years are short and days are long.” For a lot of these elderly here they have little else to look forward to.

The dedication of the founder of the programme and his team is noteworthy. They have been continuously working at improving their physical and mental state and are almost like a family now.

This programme has shown me that despite difficult circumstances, this project gives hope and helps the elderly to have a better life.

Preeti Upadhyaya, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Hyderabad)

Tuesday, February, 11th, 2014

Hues of the Heart

‘Draw your Heart’ was an activity conducted by Concern India Foundation with one of our supported NGOs in Pune. 30 employees of a corporate giant volunteered to help us out with the event. The objective of this activity was to bring out the competitive spirit amongst children and help them interact with professionals.

The event started with a round of introductions. The volunteers then distributed lunch boxes that were arranged by the Concern India Foundation. It was a good way for the volunteers to interact with the children.

After lunch, the drawing competition started. The volunteers helped the children settle down in groups of four and distributed the art kits which were bought as gifts for them to take back home. The children were provided with blank cards to draw on which were later judged by the volunteers.

At the end of the day a small prize distribution ceremony was held with prizes for the winners. Small study tables, backpacks, lunch boxes and bottles were given as prizes. It was indeed a colourful day for all of us!

Resource Mobilisation Team, Concern India Foundation (Pune) 

Thursday, February, 6th, 2014

The Joy of Giving

“We speak so often of the benefits of CSR, and so often these are set out in cold hard facts and figures. But the truth is that the good that the volunteers do isn’t quantifiable,” stated a young meticulous volunteer rushing towards the food counter to pack 450 lunch boxes for our sporting event – Inter NGO Sports Meet in Bengaluru.

As always, the Inter NGO Sports Meet was a combination of colour, passion and sportsmanship but the highlight for us this time was the volunteer participation.

After taking the children into the stadium, these volunteers not only explained the school children about the event but also discussed about how to be disciplined and keep the ground clean. While children enthusiastically did the march past on the motivational music our volunteers also joined in boosting their morale, saluting their spirit and making them feel special.

The event was all about the volunteers spending quality time with children and distributing smiles. To see the involvement and sheer joy on the faces of those young volunteers as they were doing their jobs on the field left you in no doubt that this was one of the best days in their professional lives. As one of them rightly said, “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless”.

– Sahelee Pal Barua, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Bengaluru)