Tag: Schools and Teaching

Thank you teacher!

Thank you teacher!

On September 5, every year, we honour the most important people in our lives after our parents- our teachers. We learn many important lessons from teachers – both academic and non-academic – guiding us whenever we stumble in the walk of life.

All of us have a few teachers we remember fondly – these are the ones who are etched in our memories forever as torchbearers.

This year, on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, I am reminded of one of the most distinguished teachers of Thane – Alu Shroff. All of 80, Alu teacher, as she is fondly called, dedicated her whole life to this noble profession, teaching for half a century.

Alu Shroff, what teachers ought to be

Alu teacher joined St John the Baptist High School in 1951 as a Mathematics teacher. She retired from the school as Vice-principal, the highest position possible. Universally revered by students and colleagues, this remarkable woman represents the spirit of a perfect teacher – an extraordinary combination of intelligence, wit, compassion, perseverance and dedication. Her frail body structure notwithstanding, her stature in the teaching profession is nothing less than a giant. All those who have studied or taught in St John the Baptist High School, anytime between 1951 and 2000 would vouch for this. She was also conferred the Best Teacher’s Award from the Education Department, Thane Municipal Corporation.

Alu teacher reminds one of Mother Teresa – not only does she look like her, but just like Mother’s Teresa’s life, her life too is simple, yet inspiring. She has even remained unmarried like the Mother! Ironically, Mother Teresa left her physical body on September 5, 1997.

Just last year, I had the privilege of meeting Alu teacher at a function organised to honour her. After the function, I offered to drop her home and she insisted, in her typical soft-spoken manner, that she would not like to trouble anyone and that she would walk it down – this despite not being able to see clearly and being extremely weak. To be able to spend time speaking to such a wonderful and selfless human being, who speaks like an angel incarnate, and to receive her best wishes and blessings in person, was indeed a joy to behold.

Since that function last year, Alu teacher’s health has deteriorated even further and she is now totally homebound. Old age has rendered her homebound. But her life has been an example for the rest of us to follow.

This year on Teacher’s Day let us all pray for Alu teacher’s well-being in her twilight years. Let us also thank all the teachers like her who have made a difference to thousands of us in a silent, selfless way. May their tribe increase!

A Unique Bond

A Unique Bond


In wake of terrorism’s spread across the globe, love is our only hope. Love is the only antidote to acts of hatred. St Francis, in his famous prayer, entreats God: "Where there is hatred, let me sow love." Last week, over two hundred students from Thane sowed the seeds of love when they celebrated Rakshabandhan in a unique way. Ninety boys and girls in need of special care bonded with more than 150 students from 12 different regular schools including DAV Public School, Holy Cross Convent, Hiranandani Foundation School, Saraswati Secondary High School, St. Lawrence High School, Little Flower High School, St. Carmel High School, and Bharat English High School.

The children were participating in the ninth annual inter-school Integration Programme at Sri Ma Snehadeep School for Mentally and Physically challenged and Visually and Hearing impaired.

There were many highlights of the programme that deserve a mention. The special children had crafted their own rakhis, which they sold to the guests (children). They also welcomed them in the traditional style with haldi, kum kum and flowers.

Later they sang Rakshabandhan songs. The special girls tied rakhis to MLC Sanjay Kelkar, who was the chief guest and Sri Balagopal, director of the Sri Ma Group of Institutions among others.

The most touching moment of the event was when girls from the special school tied rakhis to boys from regular schools and girls from regular schools tied rakhis to boys from the special school. The entire process of tying the rakhis was carried out by following the time-honoured ritual complete with kum kum, haldi, sweetmeat and Akshata (rice smeared with turmeric). Later, special children made friends with regular school children and interacted with them.

When it was turn of adults to speak, Chief Guest Kelkar appeared impressed with the special children. He said, "I like the term ‘special children’. These children are really special and, though challenged to varying degrees, are in no way to be undermined, for they have the abilities to perform and manifest their skills in various spheres of life."

Principal of Sri Ma Snehadeep, Manju Tejwani said, "I am so happy to see that you have made this function successful by attending it in such huge numbers (schools and students) despite the rains. You represent the society and it is for you to carry the message back that special children, if encouraged, can develop their skills very well. They don’t need sympathy; they only require your loving look. At least give them a pat or a smile when you pass by them. Many people don’t even look at them though they live next door. Remember, special children too have a right to respectful living."

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Love is our highest word and the synonym of God." In a way, the children showed us a glimpse of God.

Gee! You are You

Gee! You are You

The contribution of teachers is perhaps greater than the contribution of anyone else. Indians have acknowledged this for ages and that’s why we celebrate Gurupournima, also known as Vyasa Poornima. The term guru means ‘dispeller of darkness’.

The original Vedic texts were monolithic in nature and it was almost impossible for any individual to study them in a single lifetime. To make the wisdom of the Vedas more accessible, the great sage Vyasa, who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is said to have divided the Vedas into four parts: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. It is this event that gave him the name Veda Vyasa or the compiler of the Vedas. Vyasa later composed the great epic, Mahabharata, which captures all the lessons of Vedas in the form of a story.

Considering his epic contribution to the history of humankind, the birth anniversary of Mahamuni Veda Vyasa is celebrated as Gurupournima. On the occasion, various institutions and its students across the country pay homage to their teachers, past and present.

Like every year, Thane-based Sri Tara Ma Mission, which runs ashrams, schools, colleges, and academies, observed Gurupournima with enthusiasm and reverence. On July 11, 2006, the devotees worshipped the founder of mission, Sri Tara Ma and Swami Omkarananda. Spiritual aspirants seeking guidance received the Guru mantra from them for spiritual progress through its chanting. The programme at the Sri Ma Vanasthali Ashram began early in the morning at 5 am with the chanting of Omkar followed by bhajans, kirtans, meditation and stotra recitation, and lasted for more than an hour. A number of devotees received their Guru mantra from Sri Tara Ma and Swami Omkarananda after the morning programme.

Later, the Vishwa Shanti Havan or the sacrificial ceremony for universal peace was performed at Sri Ma Vidyalaya from 8.30 am to 11.30 am. Many students from Std VI to X received Mantra Diksha from Sri Tara Ma and Swami Omkarananda. As part of the diksha, Sri Tara Ma and Swami Omkarananda also gifted them with a japa-mala (chanting beads) and taught them the method of chanting, using the same.

Children too displayed an enquiring mind with questions on the correct way of living and conducting oneself. Questions such as ‘When my mind and my heart presents conflicting solutions, what should I do?’ and ‘Since I have received the Guru mantra, does it mean that from now onwards I should stop the consumption of non-vegetarian food?’ All questions were answered in simple language so that children could understand.

Sri Tara Ma and Swami Omkarananda explained the children the effectiveness of chanting Guru mantra in developing concentration and a clear mind for improved performance in studies, at work in the future and ultimately in making better world citizens of them.
This was followed by Sri Tara Ma’s and Swami Omkarananda’s message on Gurupournima. Sri Tara Ma said, ‘In most spiritual or religious functions, people come late and leave early. But I am happy that all people came here much before the Havan began and stayed on till the consummation. I am happy that they have taken in the air purified by the Agni arising from this Havan. May peace be to all.’

Swami Omkarananda then added, ‘Mental and environmental peace is missing. People are running after sensory objects in their quest for happiness. No one is happy with their lot. After a particular object is attained, the mind craves for something else. So much is the vagary of the mind that it is not at peace even with a particular Guru and forces the individual to go from one Guru to another.’ He added, ‘Do Japam (chanting), Dhyanam (meditation) and cultivate favourable qualities to attain peace of mind, which is the true wealth.’

The students and others who received spiritual wisdom came away feeling calmer and at peace with themselves. And why not – the real purpose of Guru is to get us to know ourselves. Little wonder then that the word Guru is spelt G-U-R-U, which, when pronounced a letter at a time, reads ‘Gee! You are You.’

The BIG Party

The BIG Party

Children love birthdays. They love the cakes, the music, and the celebration. But not all children are fortunate to have their birthdays celebrated. Take for instance the students of Jidd School, who face the double whammy of being mentally challenged as well as hailing from poor families. Their parents are mostly daily wage earners who can barely manage a hand to mouth existence. Therefore birthday celebrations of their children are a luxury they cannot afford. But children being what they are, they crave for them nevertheless.

mass birthday celebrations Shyamashree Bhonsle, principal of Jiddh School, recognised the strong desire of her students and decided to do something about it. With the help of Inner Wheel Club of Thane Hills (IWCTH), Bhonsle came up with a novel idea – to have a mass celebrations once every month to wish all students whose birthdays fall in that month. The first such occasion was on Wednesday June 28, 2006, when 21 students whose birthdays fell in April, May and June (because April and May fall in the vacation period,) was celebrated at a time.

On the morning of June 28, all the students of the school were excited and one could hear them chattering away happily as they waited eagerly for the song-singing and cake-cutting ceremonies to begin. When Bhonsle asked them to describe why the day was special, they all said in unison that it was a birthday celebration when songs would be sung, a cake would be cut and there would be the traditional aarti. They were bang on as soon afterwards the 21 birthday boys and girls were made to sit on a stool one by one while other students performed aarti. The mouth-watering, two kg butterscotch flavoured cake was then cut amidst songs and applause. One teacher even sang a Marathi birthday song. Dr Kalpana Suradkar president of IWCTH and Dr Veena Chandavarkar were among the others who cheered the birthday kids as they rejoiced.

The next celebration is due on July 25, 2006, when July born children will have a go at the cake. This monthly affair might not sound like a big deal to the rest of us. But if you were to look at the joy on the faces of the children, you hearts would swell. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.”

Triple talent

Triple talent

Rajesh Vilas Shinde is 17 years old and studies in Class VII. His father doesn’t have a permanent job and works as a daily wage earner. His mother works as a housemaid. Rajesh also has two sisters and a brother, all of who attend normal schools. According to his teachers, he is a good student and takes active interest in studies. He loves playing cricket and chess and is a good swimmer, too. Last year, he finished first in the 400-metre race at the district level. Rajesh also contributes to his family’s wages by selling newspapers during his vacations and making Ganesh idols

Sixteen-year-old Jeetendra Dinanath Yadav is also in Class VII. His father sells vada pav on a street side cart, while his mother is a housewife. He has four younger brothers who go to normal schools. Jeetendra is interested in judo, karate and cricket. Each year he actively participates in stage performances, especially dance and drama, in his school’s annual day function. Everyday after school he helps his father in his business.

Annu Rakesh Pandey is a 14-year-old girl and is in Class V. She has an elder sister and a younger brother who attend normal schools. She stays with her father, who is an auto-rickshaw driver, while her mother stays in her native place. While Annu loves playing outdoor games, she also takes care of domestic work and helps her mother in stitching clothes.

Rajesh, Jeetendra and Annu are students of Thane’s Kamalini Karnabadhir Vidyalaya, a school for the hearing impaired. But the trio have more than just their hearing disability in common. For one, they come from the lower economic strata, where existence is usually hand to mouth. For another, their disability and social background notwithstanding, they display enormous talent.

The three are extremely talented in drawing and have, on more occasions than one, surprised the peers and teachers by demonstrating an exceptional ability to create award-winning illustrations. What makes their effort special is that the school does not have a drawing teacher. So, in spite of no formal training whatsoever, the three win all the drawing competitions in which they participate.

Their school is situated at Jijamata road in Thane East and has 60-odd students suffering from hearing impairment. The school has trained teachers in routine subjects, but being run by an NGO trust, it cannot afford to appoint a drawing teacher. Moreover, they don’t get too many opportunities to demonstrate their talent.

Archana Nare, the principal of the school says, “These students can’t participate in many inter-school competitions because the parents can’t afford participation fees. So they have to remain content with competitions that are organised by various NGOs in our school.”

The purpose of this story is not to highlight the exceptional talents of three hearing impaired students, but to underline the importance of determination and self-confidence. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some use their weaknesses to give excuses for not taking any initiatives and then blaming their misfortune for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

Others count their blessings and focus on their strengths, converting every obstacle into an opportunity to prove that success is the result of an attitude, not of luck. The triple talents of Kamalini Karnabadhir Vidyalaya focus on their strengths – the dexterity of their hands and the imaginative power of their minds. Only time will tell if they will make their mark in the world of art. But one thing is certain – if they continue to believe in themselves, their self-confidence is sure to take them places.

Dressed to Thrill

Dressed to Thrill

Judging competitions involving children is always difficult. But when the participating children are those who need special care, the judgement becomes even more challenging. Ask Suneeta Jain and Ashwini Shinde, who recently judged a fancy dress competition with 70 special children participants held at the Jiddh School in Thane on March 29, 2006. Jain, a psychologist working with Hiranandani Hospital and Shinde, a teacher, found themselves struggling to decide between the participants, all of who displayed enormous talent, their disabilities notwithstanding. In fact, judging these participants was even more difficult because the different types of challenges that each child faces. A few examples should help you understand their predicament.

Dressed to Thrill - special children particpating in fancy dress competition

One girl participant dressed up like a chicken in full white clothes complete with wings and a beak. Any guess what she was depicting? Bird flu! Then there was a child who had become a scarecrow, her hands held upwards, and her head in a black bag. Red lips were painted on her midriff and two artificial hands were stuck on her waist as she danced to the music, looking perfectly like a scarecrow. Yet another participant, Vikram, blessed the crowd as he walked on stage in his saffron attire of a pujari. Manali had become a sage who chanted mantras and performed a puja. A Shivaji Maharaj look-a-like arrived on stage in the typical darbari style. And Lord Hanuman had great fun jumping around the hall and on the stage just like the monkey-god. Each participant was a sheer delight to watch and the audience was fascinated, even as they encouraged the participants when they came on stage.

In the end, three winners had to be selected from five age groups. The prize comprised a cash component, a medal, a certificate and some gifts. But every participant received a participation gift. Two parents, who had helped their wards in dressing up, received surprise gifts for their creativity and enthusiasm. The fancy dress competition was organised with the help of the Inner Wheel Club of Thane Hills.

The special children are a treat to watch. Often, their performances leave us thinking about the determination with which they challenge their disabilities. William Shakespeare said, “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” These children, challenged by nature-inflicted adversity, embrace it with open arms, teaching the rest of us a lesson or two in life. No wonder they are called special.

Schooling Values

Schooling Values

At the Sri Ma Group of Institutions (SMGI), the first week of February
each year is a time for contemplation, reflection, learning and
dedication. The annual celebrations mark the foundation of the group in
1975 by a spiritual-oriented woman called Sri Ma, fondly known as the
Divine Mother. Right from its inception the educational institutes
established by SMGI have promoted value-based education. One look at
the annual calendar of the SMGI’s schools will convince you that the
group practices what it preaches. The academic year, besides focusing
on the regular, is replete with co-curricular and extra-curricular
activities. These activities seek to tap and hone the latent talents in
children, which are often lost in the enormously competitive life that
today’s children live. The Divine Mother’s dream is that every child
should be ambidextrous and exude excellence in all the spheres of life,
so that he or she becomes a confident individual who inspires others.

The events and activities of the annual celebrations only
underline the focus on all-round development of the group, whose vision
is to help its students strike a balance between modern living and the
ancient value system of India. The 10-day event covers all aspects of
mental, emotional, physical and spiritual development, with events such
as an inter-school teaching aids competition for teachers, a folk dance
competition for students, and a three-day lecture series by prominent
personalities from diverse fields such as psychological counseling,
dealing with adolescence, astronomy, environment consciousness,
nutrition and yoga, Lord Krishna’s teachings and many more. There is
also an inter-school science project competition for students on the
topics of “Balance in Eco System” and “Innovative Scientific Toys”, in
which as many as 28 schools are participating.

Today, an inter-school folk dance competition is being organised
at 5 pm. The competition is open to students of all city-based schools
and spot entries will also be accepted. The event is being held at Sri
Ma Vidyanagari, which is located outside Hiranandani Estate at
Patlipada, off Ghodbunder Road. For more details you can call
25458750/51. The annual celebrations of SMGI will culminate on Monday
February 13, 2006, which is also the birthday of Divine Mother Sri Ma.
The day is celebrated as Children’s Day and includes a ballet
performance on “Krishna Leela” by Dr. Vasundhara Sridharan and her
troupe that are coming all the way from Coimbatore.

Tips for Beating Exam Stress

One of the topics in the lecture series organised by SGMI was on
examination phobia. The Lighthouse Foundation, a non-profit student
welfare group that helps students deal with exam-related stress,
conducted the lectures. The timing of the presentation was appropriate,
as almost all students tend to become anxious at this time of the year.
On Monday February 6, 2006, approximately 350 students from class VII,
VIII, IX and X chirped and giggled excitedly as the speakers
highlighted the futility of anxiety and the importance of genuine
effort ahead of exams. Especially relevant to class X students, the
advice of the speakers had all the students approving in unison.

Using examples, the speakers explained how fear is an illusion
and serves only to immobilise them. They shared techniques that enhance
the effectiveness of their preparation. Get enough sleep, eat
nutritionally rich food, avoid comparisons, take frequent breaks, be
realistic, and focus on exams and not results were some of the wisdom
words that students heard. The speakers also suggested how students
should deal with parental pressure – explaining to them that parents
act the way they do because they are driven by their love for them and
therefore want them to be happy and successful.

A unique visualisation exercise helped the students understand
the power of self-belief and positive attitude. On their part, the
students asked many relevant questions and participated actively
throughout the talk. After the session, the teachers who were present
large numbers, congratulated the speakers on the excellent presentation
and expressed their gratitude for sharing valuable tips with the
students at the time when they needed them the most.

When Dreams Come True

When Dreams Come True

According to a Japanese proverb, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare”. But when vision meets action, then dreams become reality. One such dream-come-true story started fifty years ago in Thane, when a visionary woman decided to take upon her the mantle of setting up a school that will provide holistic education to its students. Vimalatai Karve, as we all know her, set up the Saraswati Vidya Mandir Trust’s Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary school in 1955.

The school began its golden jubilee celebrations early last year with the screening of the highly acclaimed Marathi film Shwaas and continued to organise many meaningful programmes throughout the year. Last week saw the culmination of the fifty-year celebrations with significant programmes organised by the pre-primary section of the school. On January 8, 2006, the school organised a fun fair for its little children, where stalls were put up by parents of the pre-primary students as well as ex-students of the pre-primary section, who now study in the school’s secondary section. These secondary section students were rather enterprising. One group put up a stall for Chinese Bhel after learning the technique from a restaurateur friend. As expected, their stuff was a major sell out. Another group offered Henna designs, where many little girls had their tiny hands decorated with beautiful patterns. The little children played numerous games, ate what wanted and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

On January 11, the school organised a blood donation camp in association with the Red Cross Society, which was inaugurated by B G Chitale, a trustee of the school. Rohini Rasal, principal of the pre-primary section said, “Vimalatai has never been in favour of collecting money in the form of charity or donation, which is often the case when such events are organised. So we decided that we will collect something that we can easily give back to the society. That’s why we decided to organise a blood donation camp.” The school urged students to request their parents and elders to participate in the camp in large numbers as it was organised on a public holiday. About 50 blood bags of 350 ml each were collected. The blood donation camp also served to create awareness among the little ones about what real “giving” means. Rasal praised Sameer Pethe, father of Senior KG student Kranti, for his excellent efforts in organising the blood donation camp. In fact according to Rasal, parents of pre-primary students are very enthusiastic and always contribute to the school’s activities in some or the other way.

On 12 January, an exhibition of learning aids was put up by the school with the help of the parents. Once again, most exhibits were created by parents. The learning aids focussed on Mathematics and Languages as the school believes that the earlier the basic concepts are taught, the better it is because these concepts are universal and are therefore helpful in understanding other subjects too.

On 14 January, a theme-based cultural programme called Sneha Sammellan was presented by the children. The theme was “relationships” and using songs and dance sequences, the children learnt about relationships that they share with their parents, siblings, teachers, friends, the environment, the country of their residence and so on. The theme carried on to the next day when teachers and parents participated. A group of teachers presented a dance sequence that had earlier won the first prize at the dance competition organised by Sanskruti Kala Darpan, a Mumbai-based organisation.

On this final day of the golden jubilee celebrations, the Chief Guest was none other than the much respected Vimalatai Karve, now all of 85 years. As expected, when she spoke, she offered pearls of wisdom. Addressing parents and teachers, she said, “Don’t worry too much about your children’s academic performance. What we all need to strive for is how to bring up our children to become good human beings and responsible citizens. Values are more important than mere scores in exams. Our country can progress only when children understand their responsibility and act in the best interest of the society.”

Vimalatai Karve’s dream school has come a long way since it was set up, but the basic principles of Karve remain intact. The school now has a gym for men and women, an activity room, a computer, a well-equipped sports ground and many more facilities for the overall development of its students – but it still strives for grooming its students to become self-reliant and wherever possible, encourages self-learning. On behalf of all her students, present and former, we salute the indomitable spirit of this woman who dared to make her dreams come true.

Transcending Challenges

Transcending Challenges

Special children have been in the news recently for their remarkable achievements. Here’s another bright feather in their caps. Since last month special children from Anand Dighe Jiddh School and St John the Baptist School for Children in Need of Special Care have been learning a sport that not many students attempt – roller skating! And what’s more, according to their trainers, these children are learning the technique of skating twice as fast as other children. The special children never fail to surprise us, do they?

Special Skating.jpg

Team Galaxy International Roller and Ice Skating Club of India, based in Mulund and with several offshoots in Thane, approached the special schools and offered free training to their students. The founders of the institute thought that because special children hardly ever get to play such sports, a free course will do a world of good to their athletic abilities. Besides, training them in skating will enable these students to participate in the Special Olympics next year.

So, from September 2005, every week, the trainers have been carrying free skates to the schools and training the special students in the art of roller-skating. When the trainers, Avadoot Tawde and Rahul Panandikar first started their training, the special children had never even seen a pair of roller skates before. But in no time, they got the hang of skating and soon wanted to try it themselves. According to Tawde, “Though it was difficult to train them initially, they learned faster.” Pandandiklar adds, “They respond to demonstration and action more than verbal explanations. Other than that, we don’t see much difference in the skills between them and other children.” There’s one important difference that is reflected in their attitude towards the sport: because special children don’t get to dabble with such sports often, they seem to value it more than others.

Unlike other children, skating is not merely an enjoyable sport for the special children, it is also a means of physical activity that improves the coordination of their body movements. According to experts, skating is beneficial to special children because it tends to balance vestibular stimuli and improves reflexes of the skater. The resultant psychological benefit is increased self-confidence, which helps them in living a more positive life.

Come December, these students will participate in the skating competition organised by Team Galaxy, which will, for the first time, have an event reserved for the special children. They will once again prove that they can transcend from their mental and physical disabilities and rise to the challenge. Perhaps these children are called ‘challenged’ because time and again they challenge every obstacle that comes in their way. And in doing so, they challenge our notion of them as disabled.

Special Scientists

Special Scientists

Special achievements need special recognition. Three students of Anand Dighe Jidd School have proved that they are indeed special by becoming the first mentally challenged children whose project has been selected for the regional round of the 13th National Children’s Science Congress (CSC). While children from Thane have always excelled at the annual CSC, the Jidd School students have made this year extraordinary.  

Special Scientists

Creating records is not new for Thane. Last year our city outperformed all others cities as four of its projects reached the national round of CSC – the highest from any city. Another highlight of last year’s CSC was that for the first time, students from TMC-run schools also participated in the CSC.  

The district level round was held on Sunday, 9 October 2005, at MGM School in Nerul. Out of the 93 projects at this level, 20 moved up to the regional level, of which 11 are from Thane city, 7 from Navi Mumbai and 2 from adjacent areas. The Jidd School project was on “techniques for purification of water”. State coordinator for CSC, Surendra Dighe of Jidnyasa said, “What’s impressive is that their project was evaluated and selected for the regional round on the merit of its quality.” Manali Kulkarni (Group Leader), Vikram Desai, Laxmi Patil and Tushar Kharker comprise the project team while Vaishali Shirke is the Guide Teacher. Much of the credit goes to Shirke, whose perseverance and belief made this possible. Sandhya Dharde, the district coordinator for the CSC, also took personal interest in Jidd School’s project.

Whether or not students of Jidd School reach the national round of CSC, they have proved that with faith and conviction, you can meet any challenge and succeed. Like the Jidd School students, many special children cope with their challenges head on and set an example for the rest of us, teaching us that challenges are simply opportunities that are disguised.

For readers who are unaware, CSC is organised by National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), an apex organisation that endeavours to popularise science and technology by stimulating scientific and technological disposition. NCSTC has been founded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. The State Science Council of all the States along with prominent NGOs working in the field of science are the members of this organisation. CSC is an opportunity for students to learn science by participation. Children are given socially relevant themes that need scientific solutions. Each theme lasts for two years. This is the second year for the theme “Water resources and their future utilisation”.   The regional round will be held on 20 November 2005 followed by state level eliminations before the national convention that is held every year in the last week of December in the presence of the President of the Country.   Keep reading this column for updates.

The Write Opportunity

Since the last ten years or so, city-based student-welfare NGO Jidnyasa has been publishing a magazine called Shaleya Jidnyasa. What’s unique about this magazine is that it is produced entirely by students – everything, from editing and article contributions to page layout and cover design, is conceived and executed by students from various city schools. The magazine is published in English and Marathi and is circulated among students in the city.

Jidnyasa is in the process of expanding the scope of the magazine to include more relevant and contemporary content. For this purpose Jidnyasa will form an editorial board comprising students who are inclined towards writing and content creation. If you are in class VIII or IX, like to meet other students, and are creative and innovative, then you may find this a good opportunity to try your hand at the craft of writing. The NGO is also looking for a student who can be appointed as an “Editor” and who will coordinate the production of the magazine. Students learning mass communication or journalism might find this a useful experience.   Call Jidnyasa on 98201 37576 for more details.