Dhanraj Pillay, Nilesh Kulkarni interact with students in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Former Indian hockey team captain Dhanraj Pillay and Indian cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni interacted with more than 7000 students across 70 schools of Sundargah district in Odisha on the importance of sports through VSAT based technology, developed by Valuable Edutainment.

Sports form an integral part of the development of a child. Keeping this in mind, Valuable Group, IISM Mumbai and Education Department of Odisha came together and organised the event on July 25.

The guests addressed the schoolchildren from Mumbai studio and extolled the importance of sports and available glorious career opportunities.

This Virtual Interaction Programme happened on a satellite-based platform using the latest technology where the dignitaries interacted, shared their experiences, tips and answered their queries.

The Government of Odisha is keenly focussed on the development of sports at the grassroots level and has put efforts into becoming a global sports destination. The recent big events in Hockey and Athletics have uplifted Odisha as a hot destination of top sporting events.

In the recently concluded Khelo India Youth Games, the state bagged 15 medals including 3 Golds.

Speaking to children, Dhanraj Pillay said, “First, I would like to congratulate our respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji who is focusing on Digital India. It is only because of this project, young children from our small towns and villages are getting connected with others in India.”

Responding to a question from a school student, Dhanraj said, “When you stay in small towns, you manage to play Hockey without chappals, shoes or broken but mended hockey sticks. And when you come to a bigger city, it gives you better training and facilities. If you want to become good players, then you have to develop such small towns.”

Addressing questions, Nilesh Kulkarni said, “Digital India offers a major opportunity for those children who are unable to learn the sports in their towns as this technology is enabling them to speak and learn from interactions with those who are achievers in sports. All required inputs on sports’ skills including team building or leadership are shared and school children who are already on a learning mode can pick up this information and put it in practice.”