Essays School Carnival

Students of DAV Public School (Pokhariput), Bhubaneswar, send out a message of religious tolerance by painting their faces in the Indian tricolour and symbols specific to major religions while observing the Communal Harmony Week, which concluded on November 25. Other events held during this week included poster designing, essay, slogan writing, poetry recitation, song and dance. Telegraph picture

Perfect Sunday

A swirl of lights, carnival rides, art and craftwork, enthralling performances and lip-smacking food made for the perfect Sunday for students of Sai International School as it hosted its annual fair Unwind on November 24. Chairman-cum-managing director of Nalco Anshuman Das inaugurated the event that recorded a footfall of 10,000, said a school official.

More than 70 food kiosks were put up on the school premises for the students to dig into various kinds of mouthwatering snacks and dishes. For game lovers, there were options galore — 7 up 7 down, angry birds, snakes and ladders, pocket the coin and tip the troll. The adventurous ones enjoyed bungee jumping, water roller and paintball target shooting.

Tiny tots took turns on pony rides, flying cars and jumping jack. An art and crafts zone showcased the creativity of the students. Simultaneously, dance performances regaled the visitors while kindergarten kids walked the ramp, drawing the loudest cheers from the crowd.

Paint and run

Last fortnight has been eventful for students of DAV Public School, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar. Samikshya Satpathy, a Class-VIII student, won the first prize at a state-level painting competition on water conservation organised by the Union ministry of water resources.

More than 4,000 students took part in the event, while 50 made it to the final round. With her win, Samikshya won a cash award of Rs 10,000 and has qualified for the national rounds in New Delhi on December 27.

In another achievement, nine students of this school have qualified for the CBSE National Athletic Championship in Varanasi from December 19 to 22. Of them, a team of four groups was adjudged champion in the under 16 category of CBSE Cluster-II event in Ranchi last week.

The selected students are Akshita Prasad, Soumya Mohanty, Lipsa Das, Akshita Patel, Nisha Mohanty, Khitish Dash, Saswat Sairam Nayak, Sanjay Singh and Kamakshya Prasad Nayak.

Further, the school hosted a Dance DAV Dance competition on December 1. Eminent film director Sabyasachi Mohapatra inaugurated the programme and acclaimed music director Shantanu Mahapatra handed over prizes to winners. A few days before this, it conducted an inter-school science seminar and exhibition that attracted participation from about 50 schools. The theme was Science and Society. While DAV-Unit VIII and DAV-Pokhariput were adjudged first and second, respectively, Rotary Public School, Angul, finished third.

Thinking caps

St Paul’s School, Rourkela, continued its golden jubilee celebrations by organising an inter-school essay competition on November 24. The participants, divided into different groups according to their age, were given challenging topics to write - the flip side of cell phone use among youngsters, what makes for a student-friendly school environment and the feasibility of practicing the western trend of teenagers taking a year off after school to pursue a hobby, to travel or take part in a socially-relevant activity in a country like India.

Religious touch

Chinmaya Mission, a Vedantic institute, organised a five-day Bhagavad Geeta sermon at the DAV Public School (Chandrasekharpur), Bhubaneswar, from November 24 to 29. This event was a part of community development programme initiated by the school to mark the silver jubilee celebrations, said authorities. Head of Chinmaya Mission International, Mumbai, Swami Tejomayanandaji delivered discourses on human excellence before a large number of devotees over the five days.

A school carnival or a fete as it was twenty years ago is quite different from what it is today. The present system of education has witnessed a gradual acceptance of co-curricular activities as a part of the main curriculum and therefore the expression ‘extra­curricular’ activities is looked upon as a kind of blasphemy in the context of modern schools. If we look at the advertisements of most evolving international schools, the reference to ‘co-curricular activities’ (not ‘extra’) as a part of the learning experience is given supreme priority to attract customers, err… parents.

International schools (nothing remains national in global India) take great pride in proclaiming a fest or a fete where noted celebrities shall come and grace the occasion with the glamorous fragrance of their presence. But our principal in a rather humble value based ‘national’ school decided one fine day that the birthday of our honored Jawaharlal Nehru should be celebrated as a fete for the deprived children of the society.

The idea sounded good but also rather outdated to some of us. It is fine to have a fete to entertain the helpless lot who have not been as lucky as we have been, with the generosity of the Almighty.

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But to do away with the glamour factor completely for the sake of our principal’s apparent dislike for celebrities seemed rather old-fashioned and backdated to us. A fete without a music band performing and without some major brands endorsing our products seemed pointless! But we as members of the student council were expected to follow his instructions and we did not dare question him. The rest of the student community also simply cowered under the impact of this not-so-tall man’s towering personality.

So, the students set up colourful stalls with different kinds of games to attract the children and as they started arriving in groups led by school authorities that cater to the needs of these deprived children, the joy and gratitude on the faces of these children started overpowering us emotionally. The joy on the face of a seven-year old as he was lifted by our teacher to shoot at the balloons was priceless.

The kids started having a ball at the various stalls, be it trying to light five candles with the same matchstick or bowling all the stumps with one ball. They tremendously enjoyed the programme that the school music and drama teams put up to entertain them. The food stalls which catered to their needs for free added to the charm of the event.

(We had to buy our stuff, though!) We loved every moment of the fete organised to entertain these children and then, something struck us! Would we have had so much joy if we ourselves did not perform to bring happiness to the lives of these children? Perhaps not! A rock band performing at the professional level would not have created the kind of chemistry that developed between these kids and us when our school rock band performed. The sense of joy and satisfaction that filled our minds when these children went home with faces shining like a thousand suns could not have been experienced if we would have merely concentrated on the glamour quotient.

The true way to go global, as our principal taught us, was to develop the spirit of humanity by sharing our joys with others who are not so lucky. A fete would be no occasion for fun with friends unless it has this sense of purpose in itself, love and joy for the neighbor who craves for the bliss that we take for granted!

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