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Pheroza Godrej presents Chief Guest R.B. Sule with a bonsai while Jamshyd Godrej applauds.

Jamshyd Godrej releases Prakruti. Seated on the dais are R.B. Sule, Pheroza Godrej, Vivek Kulkarni of Garden Department and Pravin Panchal of MR-ISO 14000 team.


"Vana Mahotsav?Celebration

The “festival of forests??“Vana Mahotsav?? is celebrated every year in the first week of July. That’s the time we herald the south-west monsoon in the country. The time is just right for any kind of plantation activity or seed dispersal. Lakhs of saplings of different tree species are planted all over India on this occasion.

Delving into history, this movement was started by the late K. M. Munshi, noted educationist and nature lover, in the early fifties. The “Vana Mahotsav?is not like other religious festivals, lasting for a day or two and thereafter developing into a token ritual, devoid of any meaning. It is a symbol of an unending movement towards a greener India.

To commemorate this event, a week-long programme was held at the Udayachal Primary School. From start to finish, the programme marked the joint efforts of different departments of our Company, which worked together for its success. The Chief Guest, R.B. Sule, former Principal, Chief Conservation of Forests, Maharashtra, graced the occasion.

The Udayachal Schools presented a short skit, a puppet story and songs highlighting the value of forests and our role in conserving and preserving our natural resources. The Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecological Centre at Pirojshanagar stands testament to the fact that the entire Godrej family pledges to protect and conserve nature. The mangroves here are the last glorious remnants of the green cover that once adorned Mumbai’s landscape. They are a constant reminder that man and nature must live in harmony.

It was only apt that Prakruti, a newsletter of the Pirojshanagar township which deals with environmental issues, was released by none other than the Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., Mr. Jamshyd Godrej, who is also the President of World Wide Fund for Nature ?India. Pheroza Godrej, too, graced the occasion and took keen interest in the exhibition, which included display and sale of plants, ceramic pots and posters. SVAYAM, an organisation that motivates rural women to work and earn to be self-reliant, had displayed handmade articles, too. NGOs such as the WWF ?India, Bombay Natural History Society and the Yusuf Meherauly Centre had also put up stalls.

A member of DARE showing Udayachal students and parents the harmonious relationship human beings can share with snakes.

Following were the programmes presented for colony residents during the week:

  • Ikebana: Naina Shah and Himmat Gandhi conducted a programme on Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Both experts deftly put together beautiful creations that left one feeling spellbound.

  • Care of Indoor Plants: In an extremely simplified manner, V. K. Ogle shared his expertise. His lucid style captivated the audience, from gardeners to housewives. He was ably assisted by Salunkhe.

  • Bonsai: Rajeev Vaidya conducted a session on creating different bonsai styles.

The culmination of the celebration of Nature’s wonders was a snake awareness programme conducted by Bibhas Amonkar, DARE (Dadar Advenature & Rocks Sport Enthusiast’s Foundation). The programme was held for the children of Udayachal Primary School, the Udayachal High School as also for colony residents. Children excitedly touched the snakes, but watched with pounding hearts when the cobra raised its hood and hissed. The children carried home vibrant memories of that day.

At this “Vana Mahotsav?we at Udayachal resolved to endeavour to be small lights if not giant beacons in the national movement to save our forests.

Anita Sequeira and Betty Roby
Udayachal Primary School


Sailing Champion Trunal Helegaonkar

There was a touching scene on 22 May at INS Jawahar, which houses the Sea Cadet Corps Headquarters. Twenty-one exuberant children under 16 years of age were preparing for the Provogue Optimist Coastal National Sailing Championship to be held between 23 and 28 May.

Trunal Helegaonkar, Standard X student of Udayachal High School made his alma mater proud by securing third position in the individual event of the championship. The Sea Cadet Corps Sailing Association ?1 (SCCSA ?1) clinched the second position in the team event in which Trunal, too, was the enthusiastic sailor. Says Trunal: “We had nine races. Overall, I was ranked third in the championship with 33 points, including two discards. My race positions were 1, 15, 10, 3, 11, 5, 2, 11, 1. My discards were the races with positions 15 and 11. It was my first national championship. It was a big fleet and I have got good experience after this championship. There were sailors from various clubs such as the Sea Cadet Corps Sailing Association, Goa Yatching Association, Royal Bombay Yatching Club, Bombay Sailing Association, Colaba Sailing Club, etc. I was on the second position from the first race, but due to some of my bad races, I was pushed down to third. I stood first from the SCCSA.?/font>

Trunal has been a member of the Sea Cadet Corps for the last three years, and has been an active and a regular Cadet. He started sailing in December 2001 and now, with his constant practice and keen interest, has established his place in the team. His father Balakrishna G. Helegaonkar, workman in the Surface Coating Department of Furniture and Interiors Group (Salary Code: 33018, Token Number: MD196) is an encouraging force throughout Trunal’s sailing endeavour. It is a proud moment for his family, friends and teachers to know that he has been selected to represent India in the European Open Optimist Sailing Championship (sub-junior category). Trunal shall be going to Croatia in the near future along with his four teammates to participate in this International Sailing Competition. We wish him all the best.

R. Uchil,
Udayachal High School



Udayachal High School Academic Achievements Maharashtra Talent Search Exam (April 2003)


Reshma Menon (Standard IX) was awarded the State Scholarship and was ranked 23rd. Hanoz Chhoga (Standard IX) was awarded the District Scholarship and was ranked third. Anand Bhatt (Standard IX), Rohan Deshmukh (Standard X) and Rohit Achari (Standard X) received certificates.

Vishnu Kumar Mishra, son of Sureshchandra Mishra, Security Equipment Division, secured 88.93 per cent in the S.S.C. Exam 2003, standing first in the Udayachal High School. Academically very bright, he has brought in many accolades in Science and General Knowledge quizes. Humility is his biggest asset. He carried out his duties impeccably.

Daughters of Umesh Shah of Electrical & Electronic Services, Yesha and Nimisha have secured 88.80 per cent and 88.53 per cent, respectively, in the S.S.C. Exam 2003. Yesha stood second and Nimisha, third, from the Udayachal High School (UHS).
Both sisters possess an artistic bent of mind. Studious by nature, ambitious and hardworking, they have excelled in all their endeavours. UHS is proud of you!


Minity Skaria, daughter of T.V. Scariyachan (Salary Code: 4758), Appliances Division, Commercial Department, Hyderabad Branch, has scored 87 per cent marks in her Standard X Examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Andhra Pradesh. Minity is a student of St. Andrew’s School, Old Bownpally, Andhra Pradesh. The Appliances Division wishes her success in all her future endeavours.

Karuna Chavan
Appliances Division


Born To Guide

A 10-day Guide Captains/Scout Masters training was organised by the Bharat Scouts and Guides training centre at Bhor, Pune. Seven Guide Captains and one Scout Master from the Udayachal High School were deputed by Principal Evangeline Ranjan for this training. More than 200 teachers from various schools in Maharashtra participated.

The very first day saw the trainees being separated into patrols of seven to eight members. Each patrol chose its leader who helped in getting the necessary requirements for their tents. The itinerary followed throughout the training was more or less the same. The day would begin religiously at 6 with the singing of prayers ?to invoke God’s presence amongst the trainees. This was followed by Lord Baden Powell’s exercise and flag-hoisting. Later, one would find all patrol members scurrying to tidy up their tents and the surrounding area ?all done to garner maximum points during the tent inspection rounds.

The ensuing sessions were very informative and enlightening, and covered a wide gamut of topics under Guiding such as first aid, knots, tent-pitching, bandages, gadget-making, camp craft, etc. The breakfast and meals provided were indeed sumptuous.

The hallmark of the day was indubitably the camp fire ceremony, which provided a platform to the teacher trainees to showcase their hitherto hidden talents. Paucity of rehearsing time was the only drawback, which was successfully overcome by the over-brimming enthusiasm of participants. An hour every night was devoted for night patrol duty.

Teachers?Scouts and Guides training camp at Bhor, Pune. (L-R): Viji Rajan, Saiseetha Raman, Chetna Amin, Mahalakshmy R., Meenal Shanware, Asha D’Costa and Sophia Santosh.

The investiture ceremony on the second-last day was a proud moment for the trainees as they had successfully passed the tests conducted during the sessions and were awarded badges. The following evening witnessed the distribution of certificates (indicative of the successful completion of the training).

On the final day, the air was surcharged with emotion and the underlying thought in the minds of the Guide Captains could well be summed up in the words of Lord Baden Powell:

“Look back in gratitude,
Look around with confidence,
Look forward with conviction.?/font>

Asha D’Costa, Udayachal High School


Bhatsa Dam

Trip with enjoyment
Knowledge with entertainment
Bhatsa dam is built to stop
And collect each water drop.
The way to the dam was very long
So each one of us sang a song.
We were tired throughout the journey,
But as we saw the dam we became happy.
The force of the water generates electricity
The dam supplies water to Mumbai city.
Its water is also used for agriculture
Without which we can’t have a future.
I’d like to visit the dam again
As I had lots of fun and gain.

Gaurav Trivesh Pooniwala
Uma teacher
Ex-Standard IV E (now in Standard V)
Udayachal Primary School (now in Udayachal High School)



Scouting and Guiding
Part 1

Scouting is the world’s largest voluntary youth movement. It is non-political, and open to both boys and girls. Scouting aims to help young people develop physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually through challenging recreation.

How did it all begin? Scouting was founded by a British soldier, the then Colonel Robert Baden Powell. It was the Boer war in 1899 in South Africa, during the siege of Mafikeng. The Boer army had declared war on the British forces and within days they succeeded in surrounding them at Natal, Mafeking (now Mafikeng), Kimberley and Cape Colony. The British were thoroughly routed.

A British troop, under the command of soldier Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powell, was trapped on the banks of the Vaal river,waiting for reinforcements. Communication lines were down and casualties were mounting. It was under these circumstances that the nearby village boys and girls came to their help. Some carried messages from one soldier to another, others helped to care for the wounded, but the turning point in the lives of that troop came when at sundown, around the campfire, they all sang together. The message carried by the wind to the Boers on the other bank was that “Victory?was not theirs to be. And, they retreated. Two months later, Baden Powell was relieved and the British went on to win Johannesburg and Pretoria.

On his return to England in 1907, Sir Robert Baden Powell started the Boy Scout movement to train boys in the development of skill in survival techniques, outdoor life, swimming and life-saving, first aid, signalling, and team- work.

In 1909, a large Scout rally took place at the Crystal Palace in London where 10,000 boys paraded in public for the first time. In 1910 Sir Baden Powell, then called Chief Scout of the world, founded the Girl Guide movement with the help of his sister Agnes and his wife Olave Powell.

Since the time the Scout movement began, nearly 250 million people from 150 countries (many of them became famous later) have been Scouts. We now have organisations such as the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, The World Scout Committee, The World Scout Bureau and The Bharat Scouts and Guides Movement in India.

Information about these organisations can be obtained from books and websites, but the true essence of scouting can only be experienced as a child.

I learnt about the Boy Scout movement and what inspired Lord Baden Powell to start this movement, from my father, a Rover Scout during the Independence struggle. I personally try to be a “Guide?in all walks of life. My childhood memories of the camps I attended, the world jamboree held in Calcutta in 1967 as also my regular weekly Guide meetings still fill me with pride.

In Udayachal High School, we already have many trained Scout Masters and Guide Captains. This year we are also extending the opportunity to the students of Standards V, VI and VII. Eight more teachers have sacrificed 10 days of their vacation to attend the “Basic?and “Advanced?training camps at the remote Bhor district of Pune.

The Udayachal family has decided to make Scouting and Guiding a way of life for our students. We will together take the pledge, a personal commitment, to a simple code of living, duty to God and the country and, above all, be good human beings.

Evangeline Ranjan, Udayachal High School
The second part of this article will deal with the Scout and Guide curriculum, and how the movement helps mould children to be better human beings.