C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kids enjoy story-telling session at British Library
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
As each vegetable preened and spruced up for a beauty pageant, tiny tots milled around storyteller Amita Bedi who enthused life and heady excitement into her recitation of the children’s book, ‘Veggies Go on a Beauty Parade.”

All this at a story-reading session organised by the British Library in the city today, for more than 40 tiny tots between the ages of six and eight who participated with smiles and gusto. The children, reticent at first, opened up quickly to the easy conversational style of story-telling with enthusiastic inputs pouring in from them.

Resource person Amita Bedi, who held the workshop for the tiny tots says, books with illustrations are what work wonders for children at this age. “Little ones do not enjoy books without pictures and pictures stimulate their imaginations. It is important for books to also have good crunchy words like WOW, children like that too. These workshops also help them visualise the setting of the story, the environment and the characters. Even slight modulations in the voice convey different moods and characters and are picked up by children.”

Interacting with broods like this comes naturally to Amita. A teacher at Sacred Heart Convent in Ludhiana, instructing tiny tots in Upper KG, and classes 1,2 and 3, she also runs her own club and library for 15 children between the ages of four and 12 holding story-telling sessions, practice in spoken English, personality development classes, computers, debates and discussions. Her manner is easy and she does not talk down to the child allowing each one to mull on the difficult words and imagine the scope of the subject being read out.

She evinces interest and keenness and the children seemed to love her honest, lucid story-telling style. An eight-year-old in the gathering actually volunteered the word “implacable” as a possible synonym for cruel!

The story reading was followed by comprehension - a hearty, raucous review of the story - and a short game where one vegetable at a time was handed out to the group and each child had to give one word to describe it. A lemon, a ladyfinger, a bitter-gourd and a chilli did the rounds with the excitement and noise level rising at every vegetable produced!

Manager of the British Library, Sushant Banerjee, believes television is the culprit for people’s poor reading habits. “By holding sessions like these, we are hoping to get not only children but even their parents to come to the library.”

The children, unanimously, had one thing to say at the end of the session, “Will you tell us the stories again?”



Workshops on worldview in schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
They are the springwells of hope for the mantle of responsibility sits lightly on their young shoulders. This y-generation from AIESEC, the world’s largest international youth organisation, is determined to bring about fundamental changes in the world.

To achieve this, the Chandigarh chapter of AIESEC-India came up with a unique initiative, “Project Worldview”, to provide a platform for learning for young people through innovation in education, contribute to youth development through projects based on exchange and developing an international perspective to teaching and learning for the schools.

Nineteen-year-old Harveen Kaur, vice-president of Education Sector for AIESEC, Chandigarh, and project coordinator for the programme, says the aim was three-pronged. “We wanted to bring to the fore issues on peace and diversity and challenge world views. We wanted children to think out of the box, beyond their stereotypical views.”

The project is, in one sense, Harveen’s baby. Conceived at the beginning of year, the planning and procedures, and marketing and development of the idea took more than five months to be put together. Today 18 trainees from countries like France, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are conducting different workshops across 10 schools in Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Linda (26)from Sweden, with a degree in psychology, is taking the “Imagination and ‘take care’ workshop” and has found the experience to be “wonderful with tremendous learning.”

These programmes spanned a gamut of topics like leadership skills, cultural education, drama and theatre, music and dance, creative activities, sports, career opportunities, international education and awareness on social issues like sex education.

This initiative of AIESEC is a support project for Global Peace, an idea of EduCARE-India (Education and Careers Applied Research Establishment), a multi-disciplinary institution with a wide range of interests in research, analysis, advocacy, planning, and development activities in the fields of education, training and employment, at Mohali.

As the two-month project comes to a close on August 28, with a seminar on the whole experience, Harveen is quite astounded by the success of it all. “We just wanted to make a difference to our environment, to start something new; we never thought it would be so well received.”

The attempt is, now, to execute the programme all over the world and the project feasibility is being presented at the AIESEC International Conference this year. Hurrah for the youth!



BEL gifts building block to government school
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 27
As part of its golden jubilee celebrations, the local unit of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) decided to express its gratitude to society by constructing a new building block for the Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 6, here.

The new building block, constructed at a cost of Rs 32 lakh, was inaugurated by Mr Y. Gopala Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, BEL, today. The new building comprising six classrooms, two science laboratories and other amenities, have also been furnished by BEL. A ‘havan’ was organised on the occasion.

Mr Rao said education had a very important role to play for the welfare of society. “Only when we have educated citizens, can we hope for the socio-economic uplift of society, “ he said.

The school Principal, Ms Anita Anand, said till date the school was running without a proper building and other infrastructure. “Children used to study in the open, fighting the vagaries of nature. Some philanthropist had constructed a few classrooms earlier, but these were not enough. We got to know that BEL, Panchkula was planning to undertake some social cause, and approached it. They agreed to construct a building block,” she said.

BEL is a 3,200 crore PSU, which has nine manufacturing units all over the country, including Panchkula. The company has been taking up social activities to commemorate its golden jubilee celebrations.



Waiting for a Bollywood hit

Mohit Chadda
Mohit Chadda

He worked in four successful South Indian movies: Aithe, Ama Ilu Aba Ilu, Aithe Enei and Athu. Then he gave up his career in South Indian films to pursue his dream of becoming a Bollywood star. He is Mohit Chadda, the man who was rediscovered in “Zee Cinestars Ki Khoj”.

Shockingly, after he emerged the runner-up in the show, nothing happened to this talent bank in terms of a Bollywood career.

Chadda was shocked by the turn of events. But he did not give up hope. And eight months later, work came his way in the form of “Gabbarsingh.com”. About the movie Mohit says,“This film is a fiction that is a possible reality in the future. The character of Hari is of an intelligent journalist of a channel who is always dreaming of opening a dhaba in New Zealand”.

But Mohit is not impressed by the talent-hunt programmes as aspirants from different parts of the country come to Mumbai with big dreams only to see them shattered later. Mohit looks forward to his maiden Bollywood film now. “I am again getting offers from South India. But I lost precious time in search of a career in Bollywood”, he said during a visit to Chandigarh.

Producer Nandita Singha, the woman behind Tez Entertainments Ltd., who zeroed in on Mohit for her film “Gabbarsingh.com”, says that her company believes that he will be best newcomer in the Hindi cinema. “Mohit is a learner by nature and handles his acting intelligently to fit into the role. He has already proven his talent by giving four films and then chosen by the audiences in a talent hunt contest. We firmly believe that the same audience that chosen him will stand by him”, says Singha.

Vivek Vaswani, Mohit Chadda's mentor, adds,“Mohit is a competent actor. I have a feeling he will be a star. Having trained people like Shah Rukh Khan, and seeing Mohit, I don't think there is any reason why he can’t be a star.” D.P.



Slum children stage show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
A variety show was staged by students of the Apang Sewa Sanstha at Fragrance Garden in Sector 36 here today. The event was organised in collaboration with the Directorate of Tourism Department, Chandigarh.

Mr G.S. Sandhu, chairman of the sansthan, said it was fifth consecutive show organised by the NGO.

The uniqueness of the show was that it was performed by the under-privileged children in Ram Darbar. All participants, aged between four and 14, gave a scintillating performance.

The event enables the slum children to enhance their capabilities by performing on the stage. It also instills discipline, determination, skill and confidence in an individual.

The events included a short play “Smaj”, depicting the prevailing social evils and their remedies,’ and “Kadam Se Kadam Kandhe Se Kandha”.



Film Review
A tactless comedy
Rama Sharma

Men flattering wives at homes and flirting outside are no longer amusing scenes. Boney Kapoor in “No Entry” does it in no fresh ambience. This is his face-saving device which has turned out be a rapacious comedy. His brother, Anil Kapoor bears a fair share of his burden. But still Boney can heave a sigh of relief with this movie. Anil Kapoor dons the mantle of the comedian with quite aplomb.

Anu Malik’s music is a parody for good music. Writer-director Anees Bazmi’ s script lacks freshness .

Fardeen Khan has begun to act like a hectic-paced actor. Boman Irani spills the beans for politician. Salman Khan is a grubby guy with no flair.

Lara Dutta plays a hapless wife. Being childless, she suspects the fidelity of her husband. She seems to be picking up some threads of acting. Ditto for Celina Jaitley. Bipasha plays a raunchy role.

A dog’s voice is substituted when Fardeen Khan fails to act. No doubt, the movie is flavoured with “umpteen-time heard jokes’, yet you may watch it to relive the hype. — TNS


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