Kiren Rijiju honours winners of Nanhi Chhaan National School Essay Contest
New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju awarded the winners of the 3nd Nanhi Chhaan National School Essay Contest, held at Vasant Valley School, Vasant Kunj, today. Armaan Suhail of Welham Boys School, Dehradun was declared the winner and Saumya Sharma of Mayo Girls School, Ajmer, was the runner up of the essay contest.
Chief Guest Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs congratulated the children and said, “The refugee problem is a complex problem involving humanitarian issues as well as rights of the indigenous people. It is good to know that young children are thinking about the issues such as refugees. I am very impressed by the selection of the topic of the competition and the opinion of the participants. These children are fortunate to have the resources. Therefore, they have a big responsibility towards the society. The government must listen to voices including that of children and take action that is in the best interest of the nation.”
For the third consecutive year, Nanhi Chhaan Foundation organised a national level essay contest with a topic that is not only a major concern for India but is also a daunting and grave global challenge. The topic for this year’s essay contest was “Refugees are our collective concern”. It is not that well known that women and children are amongst the worst affected populations of any refugee problem. Remember the picture of the three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed on the Mediterranean Sea shore, or more recently, the bloodied five-year-old Omran Daqneesh? Through the National School Essay Contest, Nanhi Chhaan hopes to raise awareness and to educate young citizens of the country about the hardships faced by refugees and to invoke them to seek solutions. Refugees often face conflicting responses from their host countries ranging from empathy to downright antagonism. Sensitising young minds to be positive thinkers and seeking their views on such important issues, bodes well for a future citizenry that is both well informed and well engaged. Nanhi Chhaan seeks to achieve precisely that objective when conducting such contests amongst today’s youth.
Mr. Harpal Singh, Chairman Nanhi Chhaan Foundation, said, “A civilised society is one where refuge is provided to the seeker, where the young become champions in support of the poor and the disadvantaged and where empathy and giving become societal norms. Through the schools essay contest Nanhi Chhaan hopes to develop an ethos where India’s children engage with the country’s social agenda.”
Students from 10th and 11th standard from top schools across 20 Indian states and 2 Union Territories, sent entries for the national level contest. The entries were then carefully scrutinised by members of the Delhi Literary Society with the semi-final being held a day before the finals on the 9th of September when a panel of eminent panel judges decided the winners. Prizes including i-Pads and cash awards were given to the winners. Top 30 students will also be participating in a week-long friendship and Personality Development Program to be held at NIIT University – Neemrana in December.
The finalists displayed immense understanding and sensitivity on the issue and also showcased exceptional oratory skills during the group discussion round. The jury of eminent personalities including Mr. Rajendra Pawar, Chairman-NIIT, Ms Satyavati Berera- Chief Operating Officer of PwC India, Mrs. Indira Mansingh- Chief Advisor at Development Alternatives, were amazed by the thoughtfulness, depth and purity of thoughts expressed by the participating students.