Dubai: Children from underprivileged backgrounds received free health checks and enjoyed various activities organised by Aster Volunteers at India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday.
The ‘Smile 4.0’ initiative was among the celebrations for India’s Children’s Day (November 14).
Around 70 children of various nationalities, including orphans and those from conflict zones, were included in the fourth edition of Smile by Aster Volunteers (part of Aster DM Healthcare), in partnership with a local NGO in the UAE.
Free medical check-up
The programme focused on providing free medical check-ups for the children along with wellness and entertainment activities such as aerobics, karate, and arts and crafts.
The children got an opportunity to meet super-speciality doctors from Aster and Medcare facilities in the UAE for a check-up, followed by various entertainment activities.
They also visited a number of pavilions at Expo while being treated to refreshments and goody bags, Aster said.
Speaking on the occasion, Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “The entire purpose of the Smile programme is to bring joy, happiness and well-being into the lives of these young children who have been through so much at such a young age.”
She added: “Some of them have been brought in from war-torn countries, some are orphans, while others come from difficult and underprivileged backgrounds. Putting a little smile on their lips and caring for their health and well-being is the least we can do for them.”
Earlier on Sunday, India Pavilion also screened a short film on unity and tolerance by Looking Glass Film Club.
“It will be the first in a series of films to be screened as part of the Children’s Film Festival,” the pavilion said.
On Monday, the pavilion screened another short film on Indian folk tales for schoolchildren.
Massive cloth portrait
Meanwhile, students of Dunes International School in Abu Dhabi marked Children’s Day by creating a massive portrait of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly called ‘Chacha (uncle) Nehru’ due to his affection for children.
Nehru was born in 1889 on November 14, which came to be celebrated as Children’s Day in India.
Dunes International School’s principal and director Paramjit Ahluwalia said: “To revere the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister, our students created a colossal portrait of him, measuring 5.5m in length and 4.5m in width at the school reception.”
He said students brought multi-coloured clothes to make the portrait on the floor under the guidance of the school’s art teachers Taranjit Kaur and Vivek Murukan Revathy.
Since Nehru’s image is usually associated with the red rose that he always pinned to his coat, the students added a red rose to the portrait.
The recyclable clothes will be washed and donated to charity, the school said.