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A Spectacular Display
The background of Indian dance is infinitely rich and varied, as varied as the motherland itself. Both the folk dances and the classical forms show this variety intertwined by the spirit of unity in diversity.
Udayachal High School celebrated the Annual Day on 21 February, 2003 by presenting various folk dances, which were both colourful and vibrant.
The programme started with the Saraswati Vandana, an invocation to the Goddess of Learning. A brief Annual Report was presented by the Principal, Evangeline Ranjan. The first dance was from Kerala, the land of Green Magic. The Malayalam folk dance depicting the Raasleela of Lord Krishna with the gopis caught everyone’s attention. Next the dancers from the North and the North East States represented a variety in unity. The graceful dancers from Bengal, the tribals from Assam, the merry makers from the fertile plains of Uttar Pradesh and the bubbling dancers of Kashmir danced in unison.
The Marathi folk dance, Shetkari Raja, depicted the typical Indian farmers followed by the rhythmic Lezims, a well-known folk dance form of Maharashtra. The Dandya Raas and the Garba representing Gujarat were true to the traditional spirit. The Rajasthani folk dance, Ghumar, was enchanting. The rhythmic circular movements highlighting the colourful gagras accompanied with the marriage procession took everyone to the land of the majestic kings and palaces. The dexterity of the body was displayed by gymnastics when students performed floor exercises and vaulted with some daredevilry acts of jumping through rings lit with fire. The Bhangra dance of Punjab was a fitting finale of the day’s programme. The vigorous dancers, along with the beating of the dhol and the melodious Punjabi folk songs, enthralled the audience.
The Chief Guest Commodore (Sea Cadet Corps) Rabi Ahuja appreciated the performance of students, the hard work of staff members and the precision of events, which he felt were part of the Udayachal tradition. The programme ended with the formation of the Rising Sun, the motto Udayachal stands for, and the rendering of the School song bringing tears to many a ex-student’s eye.
One really marvelled at the organised way in which each dance group with more than 80 dancers swayed rhythmically in the dancing arena enchanting the audience. A special mention needs to be made about parents who directly or indirectly helped to make this programme a grand success.
A one-day Scouts and Guides Rally was conducted for Standards VIII and IX of the Udayachal High School on Saturday, 8 March, 2003 from 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on the School ground.
The camp started with the hoisting of the flag and a prayer session. Patrols of 20 pupils each were under the supervision of Scout Masters or Guide Captains. The students were tested on the training they had received in preparing breakfast, pitching of the tent, preparing various gadgets and articles from sticks and twigs around them. They also demonstrated First Aid bandages and woodcraft signs through the exercise of Treasure Hunt. The participants even exhibited their knowledge on different kinds of Knots, Hitches and Lashings.
The Investiture Ceremony was conducted in the evening, when new recruits were enrolled into the Scout-Guide movement, by Chief Guest, Naozer P. Vankadia, Treasurer, District Scouts/Guides Association. An Inter-Patrol Camp-Fire competition was also conducted, the results of which were declared by Binaifer Chhoga, Principal, Udayachal Primary School, as follows:
Udayachal High School celebrated Science Day on 11 March in memory of the loving and warm-hearted Soonuben Godrej who dedicated her life for the welfare of the Godrej workers’ families. Soonuben was always fascinated by Science. A science exhibition called “Science in Action” was put up to commemorate this occasion.
The programme commenced with a welcome speech. Chief Guest Jamshyd N. Godrej along with E.J. Kalwachia, S.F. Ayem and G.R. Dastoor inaugurated the function by lighting a lamp. Soonuben’s qualities of perseverance, caring, sharing and guiding were highlighted by Standard V students. The annual Science manuscript, Creative Brains, was released by E.J. Kalwachia. The students had presented sketches, biographies and contributions of eminent scientists in the manuscript.
Dignitaries took keen interest in looking at every exhibit and patiently listening to what the future young scientists had to say about their projects. Students confidently explained the functioning of their exhibits. Various working models of volcanos, fountains, papermaking, hydraulic weighing machine, slide projector, centrifuge, fire alarm, elevators, sound, lung oxygenators, etc. were displayed. The guests appreciated the efforts put in by the students and the teachers in making these projects. Binaifer Chhoga seemed very happy and praised the students.
A skit on AIDS was presented by our Marathi medium students. They highlighted the cause of the disease as well as the treatment that could be given to patients. They stressed that the outlook of the society towards these patients needs to be healthy.
Parents also enjoyed looking at the various working models being displayed by students. A lot of practical knowledge was gained by students through these exhibits, and it was a wonderful day to see the performance of the young scientists in action.
Concern For Forests
As the African proverb goes, “When you plant a tree, never plant one but plant three. One for shade, one for fruit and one for beauty.”
21 March is World Forestry Day, a day to remind us about the community and what it stands for. It is celebrated to protect the acres of pristine wilderness, to promote ecological values, to preserve the forests, to save trees from being felled and to inculcate in human beings the importance of our flora and fauna.
Trees not only provide fruit, but also wood and give beauty to our surroundings. More importantly, they work like green lungs cleansing our atmosphere. Trees are important because they literally hold the earth together preventing it from being washed away during the rainy season.
Activities such as planting trees, highlighting the urgency to increase the green cover are undertaken on World Forestry Day. It is a day to remind the community about the importance of forests and the benefits they bring to us. World Forestry Day also aims to provide opportunities for people to learn how forests can be managed and used sustainably for many purposes.
But where are the forests? Today, as we celebrate World Forestry Day, which is as good an occasion as any to spare a thought for, what are we doing to save our forests? Depletion of forest cover and subsequent habitat loss has endangered more and more wild life species, many of whom are on the verge of extinction. It is in fact a matter of shame that both our national animal and national bird, that is the tiger and the peacock respectively, are highly endangered.
Hence we must remember that forestry cannot be viewed in complete isolation. We can say that though we cannot emulate our ancestors, we can surely learn from their message of respect for forests. Let us therefore come together and not ask, “Where are the forests?” Because the forests are right here beside us…. as they have been for centuries.
Students: Vidya Varier/Swetha
The English Day was celebrated on 24March, 2003 at Udayachal High School to commemorate the birth anniversary of the late Jaiben Godrej, who was an ardent lover of literature.
In keeping with her keen interest in poetry, the students recited poems of well-known poets. Robert Browning’s poem, The Pied Piper of Hamlin, was brought alive on stage in the item, “Ratz-ma-tazz”.
“The Judgement Day” was a thought-provoking dialogue between Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf, drawing one’s attention to environmental issues like encroachment and damage of pristine habitats. The public speaking skills of students were on display, with humorous passages being recited by students. It was looking at grave matters like “cloning” and “allergy” in a lighter vein.
The gathering was presided over by the Godrej family. The language manuscripts, entitled WORDS-WORTH!! and SHABDAGANDHA, and the Social Science manuscript, GLOBAL PANORAMA, was released by the young trio, Master Burgis, Master Sohrab and Master Hormuzd Godrej.
Nadir Godrej waxed eloquent on the teaching skills of his mother Jaiben. He stated that teaching is a continuous process of learning and sharing of knowledge.
Adi Godrej encouraged the students to master the English language, as it is a “resource” in the futuristic age of communication and technology.