It was a special day today for two groups of children - one afflicted with cerebral palsy, and the other left destitute by poverty, parents and society. What united the two groups together was the pure joy they had and the remarkable maturity they displayed in drawing their dreams about their version of India. A drawing competition for them was organised here in separate venues by CII in celebration of the India@75 Week between August 8 and 14. At the Institute of Cerebral Palsy, the venue of the first group's programme, 30 children proved that difficulty in walking or speech problem can neither destroy their dream of a clean and healthy India. Pooja, a 16-year-old inmate of the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity Orphanage, is a glorious example. For her, India will be a country where "everyone will always smile, and never fight." Her sister, Pampa, who too suffers from the congenital disease, suggested a logo for India which is also "smile". Watching IPL matches is the passion for 16-year-old Nazia Khatoon and her idol is Virat Kohli.
But when she is asked about her "Dream India", her answer was: "My country must be healthy, secured and clean." Nazia won the first prize in the competition. But what refreshed all was the spectacle of a scream of joy in unison - almost everyone was desperate to jump up from their wheelchair or special chair" to savour her glory. The second group's venue was BNR West Port Police Station, where as many as 40 children from marginalised families living in the port area took part in the competition. At both the venues, Yi, the youth wing of CII, made a presentation on 'Masoom', a nationwide Yi project designed to spread greater awareness about children's safety. 'Masoom' was launched in 2015 by Kailash Satyarthi, the Nobel laureate founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
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