THE Child Is The Father Of The Man is an idiom given to the world by famous poet William Wordsworth.
It first appeared in his poem “My Heart Leaps Up” that was out in 1802. It means that the behaviour and activities of a person’s childhood go a long way in building his personality.
Shimla Amateur Garden and Environment Society (SAGES) came forward to locate the “father in the child” and provided a platform to students of Shimla schools to exhibit their creativity in vase-making from waste material, flower arrangement, making toys or decoration pieces from fruits and vegetables, displaying photographs of flowers and nature taken by them in the past one year and drawing rangoli from flower petals and foliage. There was one more item and that was the identification of flowers. Ten flowers were given numbers and children entered the room one by one to identify the flowers. Each school could send two students only. The school that got maximum numbers was to inaugurate the flower show that SAGES organised immediately after the festival. This year, Laureate Public School, Bharari, earned the distinction.
SAGES understood the essentiality of children’s participation in activities besides the obligatory school activities and called it a festival, in which there was no competition and children performed with free mind and gay abandon. At the end of the festival, each child who had taken part in any of the activities got an award for participating. Anurita Saxena, General Manager, Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam (Skill Development Corporation), was the chief guest. She gave away awards to students and wrote in the visitor’s book: “An experience and pure pleasure to be a part of this great event organised by SAGES. I had attended flower shows earlier — again a delight— but this was my first visit to the flower festival. Simply Beautiful.” Quite a few foreigners visited the Flower Festival. Jurath Downes from England called it ‘beautiful and wonderful arts and crafts work.’ Vishwa Nath Sood, a senior and respected citizen of Shimla, recollected his schooldays and wrote: “I wish such activities happened during my schooldays. I am awestruck.”
It is true that creativity is not equivalent to intelligence. A highly intelligent individual need not necessarily be creative. There is no significant correlation between the two. Creativity is more governed by the mode of thinking although a little intelligence is also required. It has to be remembered that creativity is extended over a period of time than limited to a brief period.
An attractive creation of the festival was ‘three fish’ carved out of a pumpkin. Almost all visitors took its photograph. The scales of the fish were so well-whittled that it deserved kudos. There was a mother monkey and her child made of watermelon, whereby a vital message was being sent to the community. The child was supposed to be saying that never in life can one find another mother. So, mothers have to be taken care of. A tricycle and a garbage van made of waste matter were the other attractions for visitors. Rangoli and flower arrangement were, as ever, a constant pull. A photograph of rhododendron tree with only two flowers on it and another showing a papaya flower were the likes of visitors. The creativity of children was higher than Mount Everest.
A case study made in England has revealed that students who get engaged in hands-on activities in the garden and greenhouse areas are communicating their knowledge about the world to others; conveying and learning to process and manage emotions; and lastly, developing important skills such as initiative, self-confidence, literacy and mathematics among others that help them to be more successful in school and later in life. Who can deny that keeping children busy with gardening or flower-activities will lead to proper channelling of their youthfulness that is going waste today in watching television or I-pad or taking drugs?
Dr Anurita congratulated the participants and said she was impressed by the work done by students and that each student should promise to nurture a plant in their house. She said to be creative was to be in love with life, its beauty was enhanced by having and looking after the plant. She also spoke on skill development, which could be useful for the age-group that attended the festival. She said the target beneficiaries for skill development schemes were youth in the age group of 18-35 years, and that the candidates should not have previously undergone skill development training under the scheme in any other trade. She said schemes under Kausahal Vikas Yojana aimed at holistic improvement of the community in Himachal Pradesh through this unique initiative.
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”–Pablo Picasso
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