It was nostalgia time at the Sacred Heart Boys School in Santacruz (West) on Saturday. Around 100 children aged between six and 10 abandoned computers, video games and other electronic gizmos for the day and indulged in games of a different kind. Shrieks and laughter rent the air as the children romped about in the open playground, playing kho-kho, kabbaddi, gilli-danda and snakes-and-ladders.
The games carnival was part of a campaign on mental health for students aimed at promoting physical fitness by acquainting them with traditional Indian games. The purpose of the exercise was to lure students into playing games that could give them some physical exercise and also help them mentally.
Shweta Rastogi, clinical nutritionist who was one of the speakers at the event said, “Today, children have digital versions for practically all mainstream sports. By exposing them to traditional games, we hope to create excitement among them to play the physical version of the same games.’’
Rastogi added that most children today are physically inactive, thereby adding to cases of childhood obesity. “In their growing years if they put on too much weight, they may turn into obese adults,’’ she said.
Tiara Chettiar, 8, a student of Carmel of St Joseph School, Malad said she now understood what they meant by the saying 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. “Kho kho and malkhamb and kabaddi were very interesting,” said Tiara.
The tag line of the campaign campaign 'Be a Hero' urged the young ones to challenge their minds by playing games like chess, solving mental ability puzzles and concentration-related games.
Besides, it encouraged them to be socially connected with one other by hanging out with friends, not just through social networking sites. “Studies indicate that being socially connected reduces stress and stimulates the brain, thereby enhancing academic performance,” said Rastogi.
The event also dished out healthy nutrition choices, in an attempt to reinforce the fact that right food choices coupled with a healthy and active lifestyle are helpful in building strong minds.
The campaign was organised by a company dealing with nutritional products.