Exposure to adventure activities for youngsters very imp: Dravid

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (UNI) Cricketer Rahul Dravid has said that providing youngsters exposure to adventure activities and new challenges is very important to ensure their all round personality development.

''Exposure to new challenges and outdoor adventure activities is very important for youngsters in India today as it helps to bring about an all round development of their personality,''Dravid said at an event here last evening to crown the winner of the "Nat Geo Junior Hunt 2", a hunt to select sparkling kids, one who are curious adventurous, articulate, energetic and smart at the same time.

14- year- old Neha Jain from Kolkata was crowned by Dravid as the winner of the Second Nat Geo Junior Hunt, an annual hunt organised by the National Geographic Channel to select India's "superkid".

Neha, a class 8th student at the Birla High School for Girls at Kolkata, emerged the winner of the 'Nat Geo Junior Hunt2' from among four lakh children from over four hundred reputed schools across ten cities in India who participated in the hunt.

Neha, along with S Balaji of Bangalore, Jamin Shah and Anchal Samtani of Mumbai, reached the final of the contest after a host of rounds designed to asses their creativity, adaptability and abilities based on the multiple intelligence theory in alignment to the channel's 'Think again' philosophy.

These scientifically designed rounds included aptitude tests, games, puzzles, debates, thinking out of the box challenges and an outdoor adventure camp in Sithlakhet, Uttaranchal. All four finalists went through extensive grooming sessions with the British Council and the winner was selected by their experienced trainers.

As the winner of the contest, Neha gets to host Nat Geo Junior shows on the channel for three months this year. The channel has also established Nat Geo Junior Fund for the winner's future education along with a bouquet of prizes from the partners of the hunt Max New York Life and Parle-G.

Speaking on the occasion, Dravid, who was at the event in his capacity as Max New York Life ambassador, said,''programmes like 'NatGeo Junior hunt are landmark programmes as they give exposure to the youngsters to several new challenges and outdoor activities, in the process giving them an opportunity to showcase their potential and talent in various sporting and a variety of adventure activities.'' Expressing the hope that talent hunt shows like 'Nat Geo Junior Hunt' would pave way for several other programmes to help youth realise their true inner potential, Dravid said,''already, one witnesses schools and colleges in India focusssing on all round development of the children rather than just focussing on furthering academic excellence. This is a trend that needs to be encouraged so that we can seen emergence of more and more talented youngsters on the sporting and other arenas.'' More UNI AR SK HT1812

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