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Khel Khel Mein: A unique initiative in Delhi

Khel Khel Mein is Teach for India initiative in Delhi.

News 02 Nov 2015, 19:45 IST
Girls outnumbered boys this Sunday!

All roads led to the Thyagraj Stadium on November 1, Sunday where a bunch of Teach for India fellows initated a unique venture “Khel Khel Mein”.
“KKM”, as I heard a lot of people refer to it there is an initiative taken by the Delhi fellows of this esteemed orgaisation. They started this foundation in 2013 and believed that sports and physical education are equally important as compared to the in-class bookish education.

From what I could gauge, they have looked upon sports as an altogether different thing which could help students learn what they don’t learn in a classroom. Values like, teamwork, strategy, togetherness and choosing what’s good and bad are only some of the many values students gather from this outdoor activity.

They ensure that their students “Play.Perform.Prosper”. 

Mass Participation

With over 51 schools in Delhi, 2400 participants, KKM has grown from a small project to making huge difference in the lives of these small kids. What started off with just 1 sport, Football is now diversified to 3-4 games including Kho-Kho, Athletics and a traditional passtime called “Surr”

Jasmeet one of the minds behind Khel Khel Mein said,“It’s good to see kids making decision on what is good and what is bad, when they realize what they did wrong in the game, it makes a huge impact on their thinking. It’s so much fun to be the umpire in these matches”.

With 2 categories of children, under 11 and under 14 the tournament runs over 2 and a half months with zonals, playoffs and then the finals in February 2016. Around 150 matches in one day, students come in huge numbers to participate in all the three games.

Inculcating Life Skills

The most significant and the innovative part in all the games is the introduction of “Fair Play”. The fellows have made a proper curriculum for the children. Before every game, both the teams need to come to a consensus on how many points out of 10 they want to keep for a fair play and how many points for the actual game. At the end of each game, both the opponents have to give each other the decided marks for the fair play, they have to discuss why they have given these no. of points to the other team! So even if you technically lose a match, you could still win it through fair play!!

This concept has helped students learn to respect each other during and after the game.

Mainak Roy, one of the Program Managers here, mentioned, “Rival schools come together to play against each other but it’s always a friendly rivalry between the two teams. We believe that this helps create respect for each other and brings in the much necessary togetherness while playing against each other”
Mainak was very positive about the KKM Foundation and told us how it has grown over the years from just playing to curating a holistic curriculum for their students.

KKM has been associated with Baichung Bhutia Football Schools and the network of academies provides scholarships to students who excel in football.

We caught with Anirban, one of the founders of this foundation to know how he felt for these students, this is what he had to say, “We believe to use ‘Sports for Development’. We at KKM feel that till now sports has been taken as a match only, but here we focus on the broader aspect of physical education. We are trying to explore traditional sports like surr and make students play these games so that they learn about these games. Also, all the sports that we have chosen till now for our event are low resource games for our students so that they don’t need to invest in any kits.

We also believe that every child needs an opportunity to play and prosper and with these we think we can help them develop skills like team work, unity and leadership”

Team after the match, deciding points for fair play

Brilliant way for kids to spend their weekends

The kids too had a field day and seemed extremely content with how they spent their day; Neha, all of 13,  “This ground is so beautiful and so big, that is what I like the most about this” after asking what she has learnt from here she replied, “now I know what GK means with respect to sport and what playing in midfield means. I also gained values like teamwork and discipline.”

Another kid,  Raj, a 12 year old boy who was playing Surr shed light on what this initiative meant to him, “People play in a fair and friendly manner, if someone is injured, every one runs to help be it the opponents or the same team. I enjoy everything over here.”

Sanymi, another fellow was really delighted to talk to about her role and what she was learning from these kids, she mentioned about how every team made a hurdle before the match to talk and strategize , Sanymi thought that it’s so good to see children coming together, “the level of investment into the kids put in through sports is enormous. Also, it’s a big motivation for them to study”

It was amazing to see that the girls were outnumbering the boys in all the 3 sports!

This initiative has helped people from different schools to learn sportsmanship, strategical thinking, teamwork and unity, respect for rivals and stronger bonds of friendship. This curriculum has helped in holistic development of these kids.
Khel Khel Mein concludes in February, by then I am sure the kids would emerge better individuals! I mean, what better a way than slugging it out on the field to inculcate life lessons. 

P.S. The fellows run this event independently and arent backed financially by the fellowship authorities. If you do feel like contributing to the cause do get in touch with them here http://on.fb.me/1Wu3p4D

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