Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ramapuram Government School- Children’s day celebrations


VenueRamapuram Govt. School


Dear Friends,

When I first came to visit this school with the help of Joseph Sir [Alapakkam School Head Master Sir] for inviting this school for Sports day function, Kanchana Madam, Ramapuram School HM was so jovial with me and offered me coffee as well. The moment Madam told me about many kids who have only broken families such as single parent and they struggle to make their living, the coffee refused to go down my throat. Tears came rolling out of my eyes when I was thinking deeply about the plight of the students studying in this school. I then approached Nata and shared this news. He, without any second thought asked me to arrange a meeting with Kanchana Madam and that’s how Dream India started it’s another chapter in Chennai.

At 9.00 AM, I met volunteers Satish & Vel in the school premises and exchanged greetings with them. Soon they went together to Satish’s house nearby for carrying the DI banners and I moved to meet and greet Ramapuram School HM, Kanchana Madam. Seconds later Murugasen Uncle, Nata & Arun arrived and met HM Madam and conveyed the DI’s Best wishes for the school.I then introduced myself to the school staffs and started assisting them in making the kids of around 330 odd. nos. to settle down under the ceremonial tent shelter-Shamiana. 

Nata and HM madam had quick discussions on alternate suggestions to the arrangement of Shamiana, which was planned to implement in the next few hours. Kanchana Madam welcomed us all officially once again over the mike by giving brief introductions about the Dream India Organization and its activities and itinerary for the day.Lot of smiles all around and I fought for the best angles to capture them through my camera for some time in the morning before handing over the job of taking snapshots to Vel.

Children’s day events at Ramapuram Government School started with the Tamil Thai Vazhthu song.Then Mike went to the able hands of Nata who made the announcement on the commencement of event Drawing Competition. We volunteers were instructed and assigned random classrooms to monitor the making of arts for the next 30-minutes. Topics ranged from Pongal festival to Natural Scenaries toFlowers to Dream India 2020, etc., I spotted most of the art works in the classroom I was monitoring had only boiling over of milk and rice in the holy pot with lines accompanying "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum", “Pongalo Pongal”.  I then went around each and every classroom to click pictures of the drawing students and no wonder that I happen to witness the same effervescence of Pongal.

Post-Pongal Competition, we broke ourselves for tea and biscuits. It is during this interval, a student cheerfully came forward to volunteer along with us to server tea and biscuits to all the students. We felt really happy for him. Students were then reorganized under the tent for the next event that needs a skill of clear and expressive speech, Elocution Competition.Students faced a panel of three peoplewhich includes,a staff of the school, Kabalishwaran- an alumni and the best outgoing student & memeasuring every kid on the 3 C’s- Confidence [Pechu Thariyam], Clarity [Pechu Thelivu] and Content [Pechu Karuthu] on a scale of 10 each. An Aggregate from all of us would determine the first three winning places. Few kids exhibited flawless articulation which made all of us to unanimously award full 30 marks. It was heartwarming to see one student who delivered his speech completely in English from Good Morning Friends to Thank you All. Volunteer Satish read out the participant’s names one after the other and kids ran to stage to exhibit their talents. Vel made sure every participant’s picture is clicked while they speak out.

Poetry Competition was the event that next followed. However, this was not an actual competition that includes judging & awarding marks. School has a rule of starting the day with an inspiring kavithai every morning. Kanchana Mam initiated this and we all got drenched in the poetic lines rendered by students.

A break was announced to allow everyone to have a Meal that is not regularly served during the school working days.Vel went around and captured a few random pictures of kids tasting the wonderful menu comprising of various variety rice(s) before he sat for lunch along with our volunteers. I personally went up to the caterer uncle and conveyed my sincere thanks for offering such an appetizing food to all. I bet there is no better feeling in the world than being appreciated for the real hard work. I also regretted that I had only one stomach with food tasting like this good in front of me.It was for the first time that the Ramapuram School kids are participating in the DI Quiz Competition. Students were divided into 10 groups of 5 each for Round #1 & Round #2. At the end of Round #2, elimination resulted in reduction of competing groups. It gave us all a sense of perspective on how competitive they are and the students kept us on our toes with their enthusiastic participation.It was volunteer Satish and Vel who made all the teams as comfortable as they could through their best efforts despite sprouting sweats in their forehead. A few questions were fired at the audience and they were so prompt with their responses. Murugasen Uncle & I made final judgments on the drawing competition entries. There was one drawing which portrayed a human heart inside which India map was drawn. A message said, “Nam Desathai Namadhu Idhaya Thudippai Ninaikka Vendum”. Uncle and I in no time declared this must be the First winning entry and yes it is.Nata then declared the results of all the competitions being held for the day. Kanchana Madam and few other staff members thanked Dream India team for this memorable function and I in turn gave a small speech from DI describing the way how DI came to know about this School & thanked ALL. 

Winners received the prizes, cups, certificates with joy filling their face and heart. The boy who volunteered along with us was during the tea interval was specially recognized by Nata. The function ended by singing National Anthem with our heads held high.

The Man behind the DI’s launch of an educational kit distribution comprising of a notebook, scale, pencil, an eraser & a sharpener, Mr.Arun received heartfelt thanks from every kid. I don’t know if Arun or Vel remembers this special praise from a girl who said ‘Neenga 100 Varusham Nalla Irukkanum Sir’. We all earned affectionate glances from all the individuals there.

Please check the below picasa web album link to view the photos taken during the function:

Nata wore a most cheerful Dream India t-Shirt that lifted all our spirits!!

- aravindh

1 comment:

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