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Category IGNITE 2008
 
Title Tapping the Creativity of Children
 
Details NIF has been scouting and rewarding the children innovators for last nine years. But there was not any major thrust in seeking such children from all over the country so far. Once the Governing Council of NIF decided to celebrate October 15, the birthday of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India as Children’s Creativity and Innovation Day, Ignite campaign became the channel for harnessing untapped potential of young innovators. CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) became the partner for this campaign. It put the announcement on its official website(www.cbse.nic.in) and its Chairman wrote to all the heads of the affiliated schools, exhorting them to participate. Ignite 2008, planned for the promotion of Children’s creativity, invited entries in the following categories a) technological ideas to solve any problem in day to day life b) real life technological projects, demonstrating innovative ways of solving problems or reducing drudgery or generating efficiency or conserving resources c) traditional knowledge practices documented from elders in and around one’s family and d) information about some other innovators in the neighbourhood. In an overwhelming response from different schools and colleges, 961 ideas and innovations were received from 62 districts of 19 states of the country. After careful scrutiny 38 winners of 19 awards were announced on October 15, 2008. Award Ceremony Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, the former President gave away the awards on November 26, 2008 at IIM Ahmedabad, which was a befitting felicitation of the winners. Dr Kalam excited children with the equation, Knowledge = creativity + righteousness + courage + indomitable spirit. They asked him lot of questions such as, what did he want to become when he was a child, why did not he become the President for the second time, what kind of environmental programs he had in mind for the school children, etc. He urged audience especially the younger ones to navigate time. He said - 'Seconds fly, minutes fly, hours fly, days fly and years fly. We have no control over it. The only thing that we can do is, while the time flies, we can navigate the time. Let not thy winged day, spent in vain. Young friends, all of you have to have a mission in life and work for it by navigating the time towards the mission.” His note for the rising India was, “I think what is needed in India today is the destruction of defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a spirit, which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud civilization, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet. If that indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from achieving our rightful destiny.' He visited the xhibition of all the award winning entries and interacted with the winners. Special efforts were made to invite students from the local municipal schools including that of minority girls from inner city to attend the function. Children from Arzoo, an NGO for the slum children and Prayas, school for the roadside children, run by the IIM Ahmedabad students, were the special guests and the former President was very happy to be clicked with them. The awards for another category called Ignite Seniors for the Engineering students were also given on the same occasion. It was supported by SRISTI and is aimed at unearthing talent among technology students.
 
Volume No. Honey Bee 19(4): 11, 2008

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