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UNICEF India partners with SO Bharat for the UNICEF World Children’s Day 2018

A Unified 5-a-side Futsal exhibition match witnessed by approx. 850 persons including 700 Special Athletes shot up excitement levels during the UNICEF World Children’s Day held on Tuesday 20 November 2018 at the Thyagraj Stadium New Delhi India. The two teams, Delhi Stars and Delhi Heroes played one match for a duration of 15 minutes, both mentored by Sachin Tendulkar while he also played with the Delhi Stars briefly. Prior to the match Sachin addressed the audience and the players to make fitness an urgent part of our daily lives. To play and to stay fit is what he conveyed

“Seeing the Athletes play in the presence of a celebrity with so much confidence was absolutely motivating. Two female players who I recall tackling the ball with great difficulty during practises, amazingly dribbled so well during this match. My day was made!” Mr Victor R Vaz, National Sports Director 

Another message profoundly conveyed to the large audience by Sachin was to ‘Respect Elders which is in the culture of India’ and which he humbly demonstrated by insisting that Air Marshal Denzil Keelor speaks before him each time

UNICEF India celebrated the World Children’s Day (WCD), with this year’s theme focusing on ‘Schools as a supportive environment for Children’. Prior to the match a Panel discussion was held on the theme probing opinions of the distinguished panellists including  legendary cricketer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder Trustee of Special Olympics Bharat , Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, Soundarya Pradhan, India’s first ever silver medal winner at the World Junior Chess Championship for the Blind and Prof. Hrushikesh Senapaty, Director, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)

“What commenced last year and conducted this year as well, are not stand-alone events but a part of an emerging synergy between UNICEF India and SO Bharat, exploring newer avenues of collaborative endeavours moving to the grass root level. The immediate to come up would be the Family Health Forum addressing the subject of identifying Intellectual Disabilities at an early stage without using standardized tools”- Ms Mukta Narain Thind, National Director- Organization Development

World Children’s Day – celebrated on 20th November each year – is a global day of action ‘for children, by children’ to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are unschooled, unprotected and uprooted. UNICEF is inviting the public to go online and sign a global petition asking leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child now and for future generations, so that every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential. As part of the day, UNICEF asked supporters to raise their voices in solidarity with the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children by helping ‘turn the world blue’ – by doing or wearing something blue at school, on the streets, on social media (#GoBlue), in boardrooms and on sports fields


This was SO Bharat’s second participation at the UNICEF World Children’s Day, the previous year having been a Unified cricket engagement with the two teams captained by Sachin Tendulkar and Justin Forsyth, UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director

“I feel humbled and honoured to have partnered with Special Olympics and experience such a wonderful collaboration. Many thanks to Air Marshal Keelor who was so inspiring in his messages. Sachin was delighted to have interacted with the Special Olympics Bharat team. I look forward to a continuing collaboration and doing many more such engagements in future. I would like to mention especially, how inspiring it was to see & meet the Athletes- makes me so so proud to be associated with SO Bharat” Geetanjali Master, Communication Specialist UNICEF India

A Press Conference was held on 14 October 2018 at the office of UNICEF India to announce Ms Hima Das as the first Youth Ambassador of UNICEF.  News

Air Marshal Denzil Keelor and Ms Mukta Narain Thind joined Ms. Laura Siegrist Fouche  , Chief of Operations ,UNICEF India Country Office and Ms Hima Das on the dais at the occasion. It may be noted that Hima’s appointment was facilitated by Special Olympics Bharat – Mr Victor R Vaz, National Sports Director.

Hima Das, nicknamed the “Dhing Express”, is an Indian sprint runner from the state of Assam. She holds the current Indian national record in 400 metres with a timing of 50.79 s that she clocked at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia



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Special Olympics World Games


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