‘Khilta Bachpan-Khilta Bharat’: A joint initiative by CCRT and ChildFund India

The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) under the aegis of union Ministry of Culture, the apex institution in the country to link art with education, a sort of NCERT for art & culture education  and ChildFund India, a child development nonprofit  and subsidiary of ChildFund International, on November 21 together staged and celebrated ChildFund India’s  Khilta Bachpan initiative where it is trying to provide access to art and culture education to children aged 6-18 from government schools in Delhi. With CCRT collaboration this campaign has now added  Khilta Bharat to Khilta Bachpan campaign name.

Around 150 government school students and 10 CCRT scholarship-holders participated in this event showcasing the different aspects of Indian culture through performing and visual arts. The event saw various amazing performances by the school students. A group of students presented “Fusion – Expression through performance”, an enchanting piece of Hindustani and Carnatic music woven together. Another group presented a Mime act called “Expression of children through Human machine”, stressing the importance of human emotions. An enthralling performance of Odissi dance was staged by CCRT scholarship holders and school children bringing forth the beauty and grace of this Indian classical treasure.

Jogi singers of Haryana are traditional folk singers who reflect their folklore and culture through their excellent ballads and songs of devotion. This art is on the verge of extinction. In order to preserve and promote this tradition, a documentary film – ‘Jogi Singers of Haryana’, directed by Sudhir K Sharma and produced by CCRT, was released on this occasion.

The Jogis who once held sway over the cultural scene of Haryana are now on their way out because there are not many takers for their age long genre. They are traditional folk singers who sing to the accompaniment of their sarangi long narrative songs, called kissas (ballads), highlighting the courage, sacrifice, and selfless love of the legendary heroes viz Amar Singh Rathor, Alha-Udal, Gora-Badal, Jaimal-Fatta, Nihalde, Harphool Singh Jat, etc.

A book on Arrah (Bihar) heritage was also released on this occasion

Nirupama Kotru, Joint Secretary (Ministry of Culture) who joined the program said that the dilemma being faced by the millennial children of balancing between the latest technology and the gadgets which come along with it and the traditional outlets of entertainment which were enjoyed by their earlier generations is for all of us to see. “Largely, School education has become an obsession of how to do well in the class XII board exam. Co-curricular learning with ‘no marks’ is being left behind. We need to understand the right of children to play, socialize and grow naturally. Art and culture is an outlet of expression and development for children and this event will send such a message,” she added. Dr Hemlata S Mohan, chairperson CCRT said that art is the biggest resource of human development and should be integrated with education system.  

“We are thankful to CCRT for their support as this collaboration provides us with an opportunity to promote our “Khilta Bachpan” campaign which has also been underlined in the Draft NPE, 2019. It uses the medium of Arts to promote creative expression, and cognitive, social and emotional learning in children. It also helps children to inculcate the appreciation for the richness and diversity of arts in the country, and gives them a platform as well as an opportunity to Engage, Express and Empower,” said Neelam Makhijani, Country Director and CEO of ChildFund India at the event.

 The event was beamed live across all regional centres of CCRT and Rishi Kumar Vashist, Director CCRT said that  a new beginning has been made with this programme, where CCRT scholarship-holders have set up an innovative example of ‘Child to Child learning’.