Monday, October 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Students build their dream houses
Smriti Kak

Children Valley School, Preet Vihar, organised a ‘My House’ competition, where children were provided clay to give shape to the house of their dreams. While little girls found inspiration in the Barbie dollhouses, little boys had their’s equipped with cricket and other sports gear.

The school playroom witnessed the flow of creativity, as these students of class I shaped and built their dream houses. Apart from constructing these houses, the children were also asked to write a few paragraphs about their houses.

Career counselling

The Restoring Force (TRF) finished Phase-II of its counselling workshops on September 30. Since May this year, they have counselled 15,314 rural children, 566 teachers, 30 principals, 256 parents, several sarpanches and members of gram panchayats, representing 53 different schools and villages.

Parents and village elders have been specifically sensitised to their role in enhancing their child’s future.

Children were made aware of opportunities post class 10, 10+2 and for school dropouts at the village/district/state/national/global level. They were given an overview of the prevailing job environment within and outside the country to enable optimal exploitation of the same. The students, during this counselling session, were also exposed to a few demographic realities that ought to be taken advantage of.

Maj Gen (retd) P. K. Saighal, who heads the TRF, said that against this backdrop, detailed briefing was provided on a vast array of opportunities and options. The children were briefed on how to choose a career or a vocation in concert with their aptitude. They also received guidance on how to pursue the chosen option.

He added that his organisation uses counselling as a means to bring about a change in the life of a child.

JKPS’ cultural show

Distinguished guests at the inauguration ceremony of the playpen.

Kids having a gala time.

The kindergarten section of Jaspal Kaur Public School, Shalimar Bagh, presented a cultural show with students participating in events like song, dance and yoga.

The Principal of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, Ms Goldy Malhotra, was the chief guest. She also inaugurated the playpen, specially built and designed for the little ones. Ms Malhotra urged the parents to spend quality time with their children and also appreciated the efforts put in by the students.

The special invitees of the day were the grandparents in whose honour the students put up an English play and a song tilted, ‘Meri Dadi Ma’.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt was organised by the Learner’s Castle, Kingsway Camp. As many as 350 children participated in the two-day camp. The programme started with the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra. Then followed events, including singing and dancing, fancy dress and a healthy baby contest.

The students from Learner’s Castle managed to win the maximum number of prizes. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Asha Hans, Director, Hans Charitable Hospital, said: “It is an amazing experience to watch such lovely kids performing with great confidence and poise, I am sure they would grow to become strong and successful individuals.”



Festivals bring family members together

It’s festival time - Navratra, Dusshera, Divali, Christmas and then the New Year. It’s time to celebrate life in all its hues, the colours of culture, traditional practices, the aesthetic creativity, the warmth of human relationships and the elevating spirit of holiness that pervades the world, and experience joy and happiness. It is time to participate in celebrations to thank the Almighty for having created this beautiful world and blessing us with this wondrous family, where people are linked together with a sense of oneness, not only through blood but also, more importantly, through humanity. It is time to rise over differences, casting aside all ill will and re-establishing our faith in humanity. It is time for seeking spiritual elevation.

Festivals are occasions for offering prayers, doing pujas and, on the more down to earth side for sweets, for new clothes, gifts, shopping, for visiting, for giving and taking. The giving and taking is a medium for expressing our love and gratitude to our near and dear ones, our friends, our family, our community and society for what it has given us, enabling us to become healthy individuals. It is time for bonding, for opening up hearts, and for largesse and charity to the lesser-privileged children of God.

It is indeed a time for all positive feelings. The practice of exchanging gifts is often used in a commercial world to bribe and buy people, but we need to rise above such pettiness and restore the true spirit of sharing. We must perceive it as a meeting of hearts and cherish the warmth of receiving and extending love. Festivals bring the family members together to celebrate their sense of belonging.

Festivals are symbols of the victory of good over evil. We light lamps to celebrate the homecoming of Lord Rama after his victory over the demon Ravana, the killing of Narakasura by Lord Krishna and the vanquishing of Maheshasura, the menace in the form of a buffalo, by Goddess Durga. We celebrate the birth of Christ, who came to redeem the world of its sin. The rhythm and music of the universe is encapsulated in the drumbeats of celebrations.

It is time to dance to the beats of dandiya and sing beautiful psalms, Christmas carols, to create the most beautiful rangolis and cook the most exotic fare, to thank God for having given us so much in life to celebrate. Today, the festivities may have assumed commercial colours, but we need to look beneath the veneer to apprehend the connectivity and a happiness that manifests itself in various ways.

Festivals are auspicious times to propitiate gods for successful ventures in life, for initiating new plans and for forging relationships on which all progress depends. These are occasions where we are reminded of our responsibilities that any progress and growth demands. It is time to forgive and forget old grouses, embrace the needy and serve the society. The children have brought in true light into the festival of Divali by saying ‘no’ to firecrackers.

This is an expression of their concern not only for a pollution-free environment but a deep concern for children who lost their childhood and spent their lives cooped up in factories manufacturing these. We all need to respond to common concerns, rising above selfish needs. The colours of Holi, the lights of Divali and the Christmas spirit reinforce this message.

The holiness that is the essence of all festivals makes us look inwards and rekindles the divinity within us. Every festival is indeed a beautiful prayer to the Almighty that makes us experience an elevation and brings us closer to God.

Madhu Chandra, Principal, Birla Vidya Niketan


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