Arise, Awake

Arise, Awake

On Wednesday, September 4, 2002, an exhibition of paintings based on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekanda was organised by the Ramakrishna Mission. The exhibition, which was held at the TMC school no. 2, is a part of a larger programme which aims to spread awareness about the great mystic among children of today.

The theme of the exhibition was "Arise, Awake" and the paintings displayed captured meaningful messages of the saint. Most messages had special significance for children, who were seen asking their teachers to explain the context and perspectives of the idea behind every message.

There was a message on education, "What is education? Is it book learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. (It is) the training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education." One painting carried a really simple yet powerful message on God, "Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being."

Thane Municipal Corporation’s Education Officer, Prakash More, who attended the exhibition, was so impressed that he assured the organisers that he would assist them in taking the exhibition to other city schools as well as schools across Thane district.

Today’s kids will be tomorrow’s citizens. The "Arise, Awake" exhibition strove to instil a high quality of thinking among children, whose young minds are open and pure and can be easily stimulated to think the right thoughts and act appropriately. Certainly, such exhibitions go a long way in creating higher sense of values that benefit the individual and the society.

Readers who wish to catch a glimpse of these paintings can visit Saraswati Vidyalaya, Rabodi on Saturday, September 07, 2002. The exhibition is open to all.

Slogun Fun
It was the twelfth year in a row for the talent competition organised by Saraswati Mandir Trust’s Pre-Primary Division. What makes this event special is that the participants are little kids aged between three and a half and five and a half. This year’s theme was "Advertising" and participants were expected to create captive campaigns for the product chosen by them. Themes in the previous years ranged from physical exercises and traditional dance to patriotism.

This year there were 17 groups in all. Each group, comprising between four and six members, had to stage their "skit" in two minutes. The performance of the toddlers left the judges and the audience enthralled. Cleverly conceived scripts, witty advertising slogans and skilfully crafted skits marked the show.

The first campaign of the day was for Saraswati School itself. The group drew from the popular saree commercials on TV and proclaimed, "The choice of all kids – The One and Only Saraswati School". It ended with, "We have no branches". Another attention-grabbing skit was the one that had a social message that appealed the citizens to save trees. Then there was the Amul Butter campaign that showed little Lord Krishna stealing Amul Butter. This campaign was very well thought-out and was one of prize winners.  
However, the judges were unanimous is selecting the first prize winner. This group enacted a really innovative campaign which had an original script. The advertisement promoted the "Rich Indian Culture and Tradition" by symbolically demonstrating pilgrims from various faiths. Their banner said, "This advertisement is not to sell a product. It is a call to uphold the rich ethos of India"

Although prizes were given only to a few groups, each participant was a winner. As such group events help in inculcating a team spirit among students, besides building their self confidence. According to principal of the school, Rohini Rassal, "The goal of such competitions is to honour and encourage creativity and talent in kids". Another advantage of such group events is that it establishes enduring bonds between kids, who remain friends forever.

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