Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005
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More than just sports
Formally launched in the Capital on February 10, the inauguration ceremony also saw the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Sunil Dutt, conduct the investiture ceremony of the legendary sportspersons P.T. Usha, Geet Sethi and Dhanraj Pillay as the Games4Change Ambassadors. Also present on the occasion was the Ambassador of Switzerland in New Delhi, Dominique Dreyer, and Member of the Planning Commission, Syeda Hameed.
Using sports as the medium of development, `Games4Change' is an attempt to engage and involve the youth of the country on issues of development and peace. For starters, athletics, cricket, volleyball, kabaddi and archery tournaments would be held at four locations: Halol in Gujarat, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra. The location for the fourth series is being finalised. The idea is to organise the series of events in smaller towns, away from city centres.
But a similar attempt on a much smaller scale has been organised by Yuvshakti, a member organisation of the National Youth Foundation, for the past three years at Halol in Gujarat. Called `Cricket for Peace' the tournament ensures that each of the teams is a mixed team of Hindu and Muslim players. Even the captain and vice-captain of the teams have to be from different religious communities.
This year, with `Games4Change', Halol not just saw children batting for peace but also 17 other sports, with the rule of mixed teams for all team sports.
More than just about sports and keeping fit, `Games4Change' aims to be a space for young women and men to find their inner resources to question themselves and society and express their willingness to fight for justice.
While the presence of cheats moving around in the garb of touts and agents is common knowledge, occasionally incidents of people getting cheated by fake gold sellers come to light. Only recently, two Italian nationals were caught allegedly duping a Delhi jeweller by selling him fake gold coins. Earlier too gangs selling fake antiques and valuables have been nabbed.
But now the cheats appear to be getting more brazen by the day. And some of them have started adopting innovative techniques to dupe people of their hard-earned money. The other day one such conman riding a motorcycle was seen targeting other motorists at the newly-constructed Ghazipur flyover on National Highway-24 in East Delhi. His modus operandi was simple yet effective. Riding a motorcycle, he would signal to vehicles coming behind him to stop. Then on bringing his vehicle to a halt, he would urge the motorists -- who would stop alongside -- to give him Rs 50 on the pretext that he had run out of oil and lost his wallet somewhere.
That he was bluffing took only a little while to emerge as soon after he had taken money from a motorist, he flagged down another vehicle to earn some more. But while he may have made a few hundred rupees in no time, this conman definitely was ruining the goodwill enjoyed by other two-wheeler riders in genuine need. But then cashing in on sympathy is big business in India.
A useful ally
These hard-hitting messages have been introduced in the Metro panels and put on all routes in all the 17 coaches. These "advertisements'' will not need to compete with private ones at bus stands and other central locations across the Capital.
Also to be introduced at railway stations, these new series of messages are hard-hitting, simple and provide to-the-point information to the public.
"We are also beginning a series of new advertisement for the adolescent population which is among the most vulnerable groups. Through these advertisements we would be teaching them about the need to eat healthy, about where to look for medical help and how to develop clean habits. This is a very important group that we are looking at right now and another of our focus area is save the girl child campaign,'' says a health official.
The department is also looking at the possibility of using advertisement spots in radio and television to reach out to a larger number of people.
By Anjali Dhal Samanta, Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar and Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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