I take great pleasure in sharing the report and snaps of Republic day celebration at Dream India, Chennai. We wanted to conduct elocution competition and quiz program for the children of Adyar school on Children's day (14th of November 2008). However, due to various reasons we were not able to make it possible then.
Last month, we had a discussion with the head master of school Mr.Jayaram regarding the plan of conducting elocution competition on Republic day (26th of January, 2009). We started our work for this project from the first week of January 2009. First, we decided on the topics and questions for elocution and quiz competitions. A formal letter with the details of the competition was drafted and handed over to the head master. He passed on an official announcement to the children.
We decided to conduct both the competitions prior to Republic Day (i.e. on the 24th of January 2008) inorder to avoid making the chief guests stay for a long time inspite of their busy schedule. Thus, the competition were conducted on Saturday (24th January 2009) and lunch was provided for 375 children.
[ the four simple and humble but great minded personalities ] time is utilized well. It is then we decided to conduct all the programs on 24th, Saturday providing lunch for all 375 children.
24th, Saturday, January 2009:
As per our plan, shamiana was put at the school on the previous evening. We put up DI banners in the morning. After school prayer, we started with the elocution competitions for the children. Children from 6th to 10th standard participated in the same. It was heart warming to see 10th standard students participating in the competition inspite of their revision exams. Almost all the children spoke very well. On the whole 27 children [on an average: 5 kids per class] participated in this event.
The elocution competition was followed by cultural programs by the children. Village folk songs, dance, drama and what not, we had the privilege to witness all the special talents of children for more than an hour.
Around 1 pm, 375 special lunch [Veg pulav and Kurma ] which we had ordered had arrived. All the kids, staff, volunteers had wonderful lunch.
Post – Lunch:
Ravin, Kalam Nagappan and Bose took over post lunch programmes and conducted quiz competition for the children. Sathiya Priya and Roshini scored the competition.
We had conducted a screening test for 150 children on Friday to select 27 kids [9 team with 3 kids per team]. For every two rounds, three teams were eliminated. There was healthy competition between the last 3 teams. The VOC team that won the show with 65 points.
We had many questions posed to the audience too and the kids responded wonderfully. The joy on the face of the participants and children answering the questions correctly was a treat too watch. The children prepared really well and rightly so, quiz competition was highlight of the day.
Kids were tired after a long day. Around 3.30pm, they were served with tea and biscuits. We announced the winners of the competitions and requested them to be present on 26th January to collect their prizes. With smiles on their faces and complete joy, all the children left for the day looking forward to an eventful Republic day.
Mujeeb, Shyam, Ravin, Roshini, SathiyaPriya, Hema and her friend, Poornima, Sreeni, Nagappan, Ponumudi, Bose, Muthukumar, Muthu, Hari, JP, Ramya and Nata – If not for these folks and a lot of friends who prepared the quiz questions sitting miles away, we would have not been able to conduct a competition keeping 325 kids occupied. Right from arranging for shamiana to water, the efforts put in by our folks cannot be described in words.
Special thanks to the HM and staff too. Couple of them were awesome and took special interest in getting their students ready for quiz and elocution competition. With the day going well than expected, we left the school with another big day [26th] awaiting.
Republic day, 26th, January, 2009:
On Saturday we learnt that the chairman of the corporation zone, Mr.Jayaraman would join us on the Republic day. The plan for the day was
- Flag hoisting
- Prize distribution
- Chief guest lecture
- Inauguration of computer classes
- Cultural programs by children
The best thing that happened was the four special guests who honored us with their presence. They all readily accepted to be there at school. We could only invite them via email and phone. This shows the simplicity of these gentlemen.
1) Mr.Suresh Kamath – MD , Laser Soft Infosystems Limited – Sir needs no introduction. One of the simplest and humblest person on earth. He is really a great source of inspiration for us all.
2) Mr.Kannan, Retired IPS officer – Another simple and humble gentleman. The only IPS officer who never carried weapon with him. He always thought and worked on the path of ahimsa even while dealing with criminals.
3) Mr.Ramakrishnan, Teacher - He has been teaching and guiding the children of rural schools for the past 35 years. He has been an example of dedication and hard work for many of us. He is father of our dear friends Janakiraman and Ramya.
4) Mr.Srinivasan – Moderator IV2020 group – The fatherly figure who guides us all in India Vision 2020.
The day began with Mr.Jayaraman, Chairman, hoisting the national flag. This was followed by march past by the children. The coordination of the children was excellent and all of us found the march past amazing. All of us took the National Integration oath by repeating the words of the leader of the march past.
Mr.Jayaraman in his address requested the children to follow the words of great Dr.APJ Kalam and also promised to IV2020 group that he would do his best to support our efforts. His address was really good and was inspiring.
This was followed by prize distribution. The children who won in the elocution and quiz competition were honoured with prizes by chief guests.
1st Prize – English – Tamil Dictionary, a big trophy and DI certificate.
2nd Prize – Kalaamai Kaelungal [Ask Dr.Kalam] book, a medium size trophy and DI certificate.
3rd Prize – My Experiments with Truth( in Tamil), small Thirukkural book, a small trophy and DI certificate.
Following this, Mr.Suresh Kamath wished all the children a happy republic day. His address was very short. However, his presence by itself was inspiring. Sir is a man of actions than words.
The headmaster then presented the superb works of the kids of Vasantham to the chief guests.
Mr.Ramakrishan's address to the children was one of the best. The video of the same would be shared with you all by Ramya. He gave many practical tips to the students and also announced Rs.1000 and Rs.500 cash awards for 1st and second rank holders of 10th standard.
Mr.Kannan in his lecture shared his wonderful experiences with Mr.Suresh Kamath. He also shared this experiences in north east with a small story.
Mr.Srinivasan in his lecture recalled the "I can do it, we can do it, India can do it" oath administered by Dr.APJ all IV2020 groups last week during Action2020 Unconference. All the kids repeated the same in Tamil and English. The energy level as we repeated those golden words as said by the great man was simply beyond words.
Later, all the chief guests and HM Mr.Jayaram, formally inaugurated the computer classes. Following National anthem and chocolate distribution, the children left for the day.
Couple of things to be shared:
Chief guests were presented with special momentos (paintings done by special children of Vasantham Special School).
Prize: The children were very happy to get trophies. They even told me, "Brother, we have never got something like this in life and feel so happy to get something like this".
One of the staff members explained, " The dictionary is really comprehensive and the book Kalaamai Kaelungal is excellent. We have planned to read one question and answer in the school prayer every day".
The above reponses made us believe that we made the right choice of selection for prizes. All of us left for the day with complete joy and satisfaction that kids thoroughly enjoyed the event.
It was almost the same team that facilitated a successful event on Saturday, carried on for Monday too. A few friends from TCS Anusha, Shwethabh, Narmadha and friends too joined us on this day.