Monday, March 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Time for adults to learn lessons from 
eco-conscious kids
Smriti Kak

Noted wildlife painter David Shepherd on the basis of his interaction with schoolchildren said, “Children show more concern for the environment than heads of most MNCs and states. Their concern for environment is far greater.”

Schoolchildren across the globe have lived up to his remark. Closer home, school students in the city have opted to celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly manner. Whether it is a cracker-free Divali or a Holi with no chemical colours, the students have stolen a march over the adults in doing their best for the environment.

“We have been taught to value what we see around us. Our teachers and parents are constantly trying to imbibe in us the qualities of a good citizen and for the last three years, we have been saying no to not just plastics, but also to pollution causing crackers and harmful colours,” said Himani Singh, a student of Class IX.

This year too, children in many schools across the city have decided to opt for herbal colours to play Holi with and some have even decided to say not to water balloons. “Our teacher explained how these balloons can really hurt someone and we should not force anyone to play with colours if they do not want to,” pointed out Dhruv Khanna, a Class V student.

An appeal for peace

Kids from Children's Valley carrying anti-war banners
Kids from Children's Valley carrying anti-war banners.

The students of Children’s Valley School have appealed to US President George Bush to shun the idea of war and help restore peace in the world. The little ones sent their views on war and peace to the President using the festival of Holi as the springboard for the launch of their concern.

Annual Day

The Shemrock group of schools is celebrating their annual day across all branches. The group is at present running 39 schools in the National Capital Region.

Minister of Labour Sahib Singh Verma was the chief guest at the annual day celebrations at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Camp, and appreciated the hard work put in by the little ones to make the cultural programme a success.

Children put up a guru vandana in Kathak style and also participated in a number of song and dance events.

Seminar on pre-school education

Heritage School, Gurgaon, organised a thought-provoking interactive session on pre-school education. The Principal, Mr Shymal spoke on ‘Pre-school education opportunities and challenges’, while educationist, Ms Mandira Bhardwaj expressed her views on ‘Child centred innovative approach for infants’.

Psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh also participated in the discussion presented his views on ‘Understanding the needs of playschool children’. The seminar concluded with a film show on integrated education and multi-disciplinary approach to teach children by an NGO, Gnostic Centre.

Messages from Mother’s Pride

Children of Mother's Pride, Deepali and Punjabi Bagh branches, with basketful of messages
Children of Mother's Pride, Deepali and Punjabi Bagh branches, with basketful of messages.

The Shemrock group of schools organised a ‘Kids Carnival’ on Sunday. A large number of events, ranging from story-telling sessions to colouring competition
The Shemrock group of schools organised a ‘Kids Carnival’ on Sunday. A large number of events, ranging from story-telling sessions to colouring competition, were held for all ages -- both for parents and children. Prestigious NGOs like CRY, HelpAge India, The Delhi Council for Child Welfare and Navjyoti were also associated with the event.

Mother’s Pride School, Deepali and Punjabi Bagh branches, organised Li’l Images exhibition. Each child is instructed to do his or her bit for the society by handing a message to every visitor. The messages with a social relevance, like ‘Drive within speed limits’ or ‘I’m proud to be an Indian’, were used to pass on the message of doing something for the society.

Course for teachers

A six months International Diploma Course in Guidance and Counselling organised by the NCERT concluded here last week.

The training programme was conducted for teachers from Asian and African countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Kumud Bansal, Additional Secretary, Department of Secondary and Higher Education, MHRD, said that course would serve to shape the child apart from learning the content of the subjects. She was also impressed with the fact that more women had opted for the course.

Director, NCERT, Prof J. S. Rajput said that the guidance and counselling course is vital not only in school setting but also in every field of work.

He asked the participants to work more and reach people to shape them to be positive.

The course trains teacher educators in guidance and counselling as professional counsellors for schools and other related settings, to enhance the professional competencies of teacher educators in teaching guidance and counselling as a discipline in teacher training colleges and universities.



The unifying colours of Holi: A route to world harmony

The festival of Holi fills our life with colours and joys. It celebrates victory of ‘good’ over ‘evil’ and carries the holy message of universal brotherhood. The delightful spray of colours brings everyone together to share the joys of the day, sweets and embrace their friends and foes alike. If observed in the right spirit, it is a day when nothing is taken amiss, all is forgiven and differences are forgotten.

This, in essence, is the message of all religions. When all technologies and knowledge in the world are converging, why should humanity remain divided along religious lines? The common goal of all religions is universal welfare - the differences are only superficial.

Today, we stand on the brink of a global war and ‘truth’ is its first casualty. However, even in the face of its seeming inevitability, I firmly echo Gandhiji’s words, “I remain an optimist”, he said, “not because I give evidence that right is going to prosper, but because of my unflinching faith that right must prosper in the end.” Peace marches and anti-war rallies with millions of people world over taking to the streets to propagate peace prove that the basic instinct of all people is the same.

Everyone seeks and strives for peace, brotherhood, equality and harmonious development and co-existence. These are the principles of ‘universal religion’.

Today’s newspaper had a picture of tiny-tots from a playschool holing up ‘Anti-war’ banners. This is indeed heartening, for right from our childhood it is important for us to realise that all violence that we do unto others reverts back to us with a greater degree of force and retribution. Maybe, the little ones did not understand the full import of the issue, but they did learn that ‘fighting’ is bad.

Thus, this little gesture will inculcate in them the right values for a lifetime. Their little voice may be brushed aside or be lost in the din of war, but it will make a difference, at least to them. We all would like to change this world, but this grandiose desire to change the world brings a lot of disappointments and unhappiness. Thus, efforts to reform the world must begin small.

We need to look at our own attitudes and prejudices at our own level, before we can think of making a larger impact. We must remember, if we change ourselves and become good human beings then this world will also become a better place to live in. We have to fight the evil within, and restore peace and harmony that God and nature willed for humanity.

Lord Buddha advocated right action, right thought, right conduct and right path. Its time to put these into practice. For this, it is essential to have unflinching faith in the presence of the universal spirit in every walk of life. Our faith will always make us uphold ‘truth’ and ‘love’. We all know that while Holika had burnt, Prahlad’s firm faith had made him invincible.

Now, that the examinations are nearly over its time to reflect on the longer battles of life.

As Gandhiji had said, let ‘truth’ be your God and ‘non-violence’ the means of realising him. I wish you all a very Happy Holi. May peace and harmony prevail.

Madhu Chandra, Principal, Birla Vidya Niketan



Court raps police for showing leniency 
towards industrialist 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 16
Stringent strictures were passed against the Delhi Police by a Delhi Court today for admitting industrialist G. Sagar Suri of Delhi Auto and General Finance Ltd. (DAGFL) to a private hospital while executing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) in a cheating case filed by the SBI Home Finance.

“I would like to get an explanation from the police officer of Tilak Marg Police Station, who had executed the NBW, as to why he had taken the accused to Ashlok Hospital instead of to a government hospital,” Additional Sessions Judge H S Sharma said, while releasing Suri on interim bail till March 25. All government hospitals are well equipped and had competent doctors to treat patients, he added.

In his order, he further said the accused was granted interim bail for 10 days on the execution of a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh, with two sureties of equal amounts. The judge directed that the accused be produced before the court on March 25, the next date of hearing.

Appearing for SBI Home Finance, counsel S.P. Chugh submitted that the accused, as the director of DAGFL, had taken a loan of Rs 5 crore from the company for executing a housing project in the name of Sagar Estate Riverdale in Ghaziabad.

The accused had issued three cheques worth Rs 3.2 crore in the name of the SBI Home Finance on February 1, 1999, but deliberately did not arrange the money in his account with Indus Ind Bank, argued Mr Chugh.

The SBI Home Finance had lodged a complaint with the police and a criminal case was lodged in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate Reena Nag. While pleading for a regular bail, counsel Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Suri, argued that the accused had agreed to pay Rs 29 lakh immediately and rest in instalments.


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