Monday, September 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


A melange of rollicking cultural events

Smriti Kak

Fantasia: Students of Manav Sthali presenting a dance show.
Fantasia: Students of Manav Sthali presenting a dance show.

THE Junior Wing of Manav Sthali School presented its annual cultural eve ‘Fantasia’ last week. The meticulously planned and diligently showcased event was organised in the swanky auditorium the school has in Rajinder Nagar. Foot-tapping dances, pulsating music and enthralling drama, the evening had the audience thoroughly entertained. The inaugural ceremony was a mix of technical wizardry and human mettle. The children presented a mix of rollicking cultural events.

The students gave powerful performances in ‘MY Fair Lady’ adapted from G. B. Shaw’s classic ‘Pygmalion’. While the satire, ‘Utopia’, had the audience breaking into peals of laughter, the Boney M Classic Rusputin had them swaying. Students also performed the Tandav Nritya depicting the destructive powers of Lord Shiva. A citation ceremony was also organised to felicitate meritorious students with scholarships and awards.

Literacy week: Manav Sthali School, Rajendra Nagar, inaugurated a literacy week in the school premises starting September 9. The school has been actively involved in the literacy mission and has also been awarded the UNICEF Trophy for outstanding work in the field of adult literacy.

The school has adopted the slum cluster behind the Ahimsa Ashram for a total literacy programme and has opened a library for school going children apart from conducting workshops on health awareness.

New Principal at Pathways

Former British School Principal, Ms Lalage Prabhu, has taken over as Principal of Pathways World School. She succeeds Mr John S. Taylor, who was the Headmaster in the formative stages of the school leading up to its launch in April 2003. Mrs Prabhu has been the Academic Principal grades six to 10 since the school opened to students.

Ms Prabhu who hails from Derby, England, and has an impeccable record as Principal of the British School for 12 years and is regarded as one of India’s finest educators. She has been teaching English and Biology at Pathways in addition to her management duties.

Pathways World School supports both the full International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma of Geneva, Switzerland and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE from Cambridge, England), and therefore acts as an international gateway with Indian traditions. The students, graduating from Pathways World School, are exempt from undertaking a bridge year to be accepted by the universities abroad.

Looking towards the future

Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls organised a two-day exhibition, ‘Looking Towards The Future’. All the departments structured their exhibits to portray the future prospects in education and its possibilities.

The science department showcased models displaying the trapping of energy through, ‘Pyramidal Structures’, built by the Mathematics Department, ‘Solar Energy Storage for Future Use’, constructed by the physics department and ‘Use of Solid Fuel Cells’, by the Chemistry department.

The bio-technology department put forth their model, ‘Bio-tech Savvy City’ on the same theme. The English department reflected on the language being the mode of communication in the future for its quick adaptability and made an interesting connection of its role with the Greek God Mercury.

The tiny ones depicted the ‘Interplanetary Travel’ and rappelling, river crossing and other sports were also depicted. The exhibition was attended by the Academic Advisor and chief guest, Prof C. J. Daswani and Ms Vimal Daswani along with the manager Ms Malini Mathrani.

CBSE medical exams

The CBSE has revised the scheme of All India Pre Medical/Pre dental entrance exam. As per the revised schedule the examinations will now be conducted in two stages, the preliminary and the final examinations.

Those clearing the preliminaries would be eligible to take the final exams. The preliminary exams will be conducted on April 11, 2004 and the final will be held on May 16, 2004, the CBSE has pointed out.

Pinto felicitated

Ms Grace Pinto, Director, St Xaviers group of schools and Ryan International schools was felicitated for her service in the field of school education at a function hosted by the Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress.

The award was given to her for her achievements and her services in the field of education on the occasion of the sixth Annual Rajiv Gandhi Awards 2003.

Reading session for poor kids

Pratham Delhi's volunteers displaying the ‘Read India Books’ logo.
Pratham Delhi's volunteers displaying the ‘Read India Books’ logo.

Pratham Delhi Education Initiative organised a reading session for the children from the underprivileged sections in the Capital. The session was conducted at Senior Secondary School located within the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia, where the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mahdi, read extract from the first ‘Read India Book’, written by celebrated author, Mahashweta Devi. Over 300 children attended the session.

The ‘Read India Books’ has been launched on the occasion of International Literacy Day and includes a range of entertaining and instructive books in many Indian Languages.

Grandparents day

Mother’s Pride organised a special programme to show gratitude and love for the grandparents. Organised in the Punjabi Bagh branch, the Grandparents Day saw the younger generation exhibit their love and respect for the grandparents, who needless to say were ecstatic as well as touched by the effort.

The grandparents joined their kids in the singing and the dancing and added pep to the event. The gaiety included prizes for the grandparents; these included the ones like ‘Youngest Grandpa’ and ‘Granny wearing the highest heels’.


Fortune favours the courageous

Challenges must be taken up because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who fears going beyond habit and the expected does nothing and achieves nothing. It needs courage to take up new challenges in life and pursue them with determination. Good luck is sure to favour your efforts and preparation because good luck comes when opportunity meets preparation. It is not a coincidence.

Life is full of obstacles and truly successful people are those who have the courage and moral strength to overcome them. They have the optimism to look for what is possible than what is lost. Fortune does not favour those who look for miracles or easy tasks, but those who work for it. There was a group of tribals who saw a brilliant light that beckoned them. They at once knew the light was divine and awaited some miracle. Then they heard the voice say, “Follow me into the forest”. They followed the light. Then again they heard the voice say, “If you have faith, do as I say. Tonight pick up as many pebbles as you can and put them in your saddlebags. Then wait till tomorrow evening and only then open your bags.”

There was an air of disappointment. Moreover, the work was tedious. Some gave up at the very start, the others went about their task half-heartedly, but the ones who had faith and conviction collected as many pebbles as they could and deposited them in their bags. Then they waited till next evening and opened their bags. The pebbles had turned to diamonds. The lucky had collected their diamonds. The above story teaches us a rich lesson that opportunity; preparation and conviction make fortune smile on a person.

Luck shines only on the deserving. Graham Bell was desperately trying to invent a hearing aid for his partially deaf wife. He failed in inventing a hearing aid, but in the process discovered the principles of the telephone. This is not sheer luck as men term it. It was Bell’s toil, pluck and faith that had served him in good measure.

Prayers are answered when they are supported with courageous action. When our minds are filled with courage we forget our fears and overcome obstacles. In fact, courage is not absence of fear, but the overcoming of fear. It comes with conviction in one’s beliefs. The great geniuses like Einstein and Newton dared to posit theories that demolished orthodox beliefs. Fortune favoured them, when in the face of stiff resistance their radical theories gained acceptance.

Courage makes people free to pursue dreams, but fear cripples them. People who don’t try fail before attempting. Opportunities come disguised as obstacles. That is why most people don’t recognise them and feel that providence has not favoured them. Someone asked an elderly person, “What is life’s heaviest burden?” The person replied sadly, “To have nothing to carry.” Thus, courage provides a positive thrust towards a goal and with the rich input of perseverance, preparation and hope one can reach the finishing line, where fortune awaits you with a smile and crowns you the victor.

Madhu Chandra, Principal, Birla Vidya Niketan


Family Court officers should have sensitive mindset: Justice Babu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
Elucidating on why the family courts should be sensitive and compassionate, Justice S. Rajendra Babu of the Supreme Court, recounted a case of an eleven-year-old who told him that she would like to live in a hostel instead of choosing between her father and her mother. The girl expressed a wish to visit each parent alternately during holidays. The instance, said Justice Babu, illustrates that sensitivity and compassion should be among the qualities that must form the mindset of officers presiding over Family Courts. Justice Babu was speaking on the concluding day of a two-day workshop organised at the Delhi University. The child’s reason for not wanting to be with either parent was to stay away from being exposed to their criticism or denigration of each other.

The staple of Family Courts are essentially relationships, in which people invest lives, Justice Rajendra Babu pointed out. The Judge said Family Courts should not even be located on the same premises as the regular courts.

Held at the Law Faculty, the workshop on ‘Integrating Support Services with Family Courts in India’ was sponsored by New Delhi-based National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development. The workshop also assessed the working and utility of such courts.

India today has 100 Family Courts set up under a law enacted 19 years ago. Under the Family Court Act, 1984, they were intended to treat divorce, maintenance, alimony, custody child support and education as social therapeutic problems, not legal issues.

The concept grew out of the recommendations since 1971 by a government committee on the status of women in India and the Law Commission to give women easier access to justice.

Currently, there are 16 such courts in Maharashtra, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 10 in Karnataka, 9 in Kerala, 7 each in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 6 each in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

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