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“What we hear, we forget,
What we see, we remember,
What we do, we understand?

                                                  
  Confucius

dayachal Pre-Primary School was abuzz with excitement and joy when our Principal
Binaifer Chhoga put forth the idea of having an overnight camp for the tiny tots. All the teachers, parents and children embraced the idea wholeheartedly, and the preparations for the camp began in full swing.

So many things to do in so little time! Anxieties and fears of parents to be assuaged, excitement of children, and organisation of the camp schedule and activities - all to be dealt with.

There was hustle and bustle in the air. The garden was dotted with little tents, which set the ball rolling.

Finally the day dawned and the children arrived at 5 p.m. with their knapsacks filled with their bedding and goodies. Smita Godrej Crishna interacted with the children and wished them an enjoyable stay at the camp.

The children were divided into groups. Two teachers were in charge of each group as team leaders. Each group was identified by a unique badge made by the teachers.

The camp began on a creative note. Children started off by decorating each tent to make it the most beautiful one. What a lot of waste material and environmental resources added to the beauty of the tents! Helping each other, sharing materials and thinking creatively is what they learnt from this activity.

The campers were now ready for some fun and frolic. Team games such as dressing the clown, obstacle relay and passing the ball, filled the hearts of children and teachers with zeal and zest. Sounds of laughter and cheer filled the atmosphere as each team gave their best. Team spirit and cooperation were values our budding sportsmen practised.


Children decorate their tents with the help of teachers.

In the chilly moonlit night, crackling flames of the bonfire lit the garden. Everyone danced around the bonfire and sang to their hearts?content. A combination of traditional and folk songs and dances reverberated around the fire. It was difficult to tear away the campers from their festive mood. However, it was time to go to bed. Each child dressed in his or her nightwear and got ready for bed without any help from their parents - perhaps for the very first time. This experience proved to be a wonderful teacher for fostering independence in the little ones.

The first rays of the sun greeted the children at the crack of dawn. After a good night’s sleep, the children were full of vigour and raring to begin the new day. A brisk jog followed by some yoga refreshed their mind, body and soul.

Nature in all her splendour welcomed the children when they set off for a trail. The chirping of the birds, glistening dew on the leaves and whispering sound of the wind were indeed a rare sight to behold.

After breakfast, parents arrived to take their children home. All fears or worries that may have aroused in their minds vanished on seeing the glowing smiles on their children’s faces. The children bid goodbye to their friends and teachers, and left with promises of another fun-filled camp.

Tanuja Kantak/Bhairavi Dholakia
Udayachal Pre-Primary School
 

 

An Unforgettable Trip

he mood of all the Udayachal Primary School (UPS) students of Standard IV was pensive and reflective during the return journey from the trip to the Spastics Society of India, Mumbai, quite a transformation from the vibrant atmosphere and upbeat mood at the time when they had embarked. The morning of close interaction and an insight into the lives of the special children of the Spastics Society of India (S.S.I.) had visibly moved the young hearts and rendered them speechless.

With the colourful bougainvillea adorning the balconies, the structure of S.S.I. exuded a rare serenity and calmness. The introductory talk given to us by one of the teachers, Shakira, held us in rapt attention. Very gently, she unfolded in front of our children, pages from the lives of these special children and why they were called so. This half an hour talk prepared our team for what was going to be one of the most stirring experiences of our lives - meeting the special children of various age groups, studying in different classes. The first hand experience of the harsh realities of life tugged at their hearts. But the magnitude of the effort to integrate these special children into the mainstream was truly awesome.

S.S.I. was started in 1972 by Mithu Alur with three children and as many teachers and therapists, presumably for her own child, and today it has 3,000 children under its wings. Alur was guided by our late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the likes of actress Nargis Dutt, who became the first patron. Sunil Dutt took over from where Nargis left and today S.S.I. centres have mushroomed all over the country.

This centre deals with a complicated neurological condition called Cerebral Palsy, which is still not well-known in India. The spastic children could suffer from speech and communication disorder, lack of coordination and imbalance, hearing and sight defects, intellectual retardation, behavioural and psychological problems, and even epileptic fits.*

Our tour began at the kindergarten level and we interacted with all the classes but for Standard X, who were on a study leave, preparing for their Board Examination. The library and computer sections were also manned efficiently by them. After buying souvenirs made by them, the children of UPS sang songs and gave them flowers and cards. One of their special children has already been integrated in the Udayachal Pre-Primary School, and it was indeed heartwarming to see all the teachers at S.S.I. enquire about his well-being. We hope many more will follow suit.

More than 60 per cent of these spastic children are endowed with average intelligence. Their condition can be graphically described as “an intelligent mind trapped in a disobedient body? The unflinching dedication and tireless zeal of their teachers will be successful only if these children get to live like normal children with normal children. This is one cause we all must fight for.

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Vote of Thanks

uring the course of my husband D.K. Sharma’s transfers, I have hopped with my kids from Indore to Surat to Ahmedabad to Mumbai to Kolkata and back to Mumbai. My kids aged 10 and four then, changed school five times in as many years. They studied in new schools affiliated to different Boards every year - Gujarati Board, C.B.S.E., Maharashtra Board, Bengal Board, I.C.S.E. - you name it. But the kind of education and all-round development my little daughter Salomi received in the Udayachal Primary School (UPS) has been amazing. Kudos to the Principal, Binaifer Chhoga, the teachers, the peons, the maids and the entire staff of UPS for nurturing our plants so tenderly and lovingly. The exotic surroundings of UPS helped in bringing the best out of each child. They already know quite a bit about nature and environment, which gives them that distinguishing edge over other schools.

My child is into her last session of the final of this School. Our little birds are spreading their wings and flying to greener pastures. As they bid adieu to UPS, which has been their second home for the most formative years of their childhood, as a mother, I cannot but look back with a lump in my throat filled with immense satisfaction. I know, repotting needs to be done for these young plants who have outgrown their pots. They will get a new environment, new surroundings and a new staff. But, if they remember their values and hold on to them tightly, there is no cause for concern.

As I write this for CHANGE, I know that change is inevitable. UPS, we will miss you.

Meenu Sharma
Parent
 

 

UHS Has A Sailing Champion

he Dockendale IODA (International Optimist Dingy Association) Asian Sailing
Championship 2003 was held in Mumbai from 26th December, 2003 to 3rd January, 2004. The Championship was sponsored by the Dockendale Shipping Corporation. The races started from 29 December, 2003. Trunal Helegaonkar of the Udayachal High School (Standard X) participated in the events.

There were two events:
1. The Fleet (individual) Races
2. The Team Event

In the individual event there were nine races held on four different days.

RACE NO.                POSITION                POINTS

                                1                           16                         16
                                2                           14                         14
                                3                            4                           4
                                4                            5                           5
                                5                           26                         26
                                6                            8                           8
                                7                           11                         11
                                8                            7                           7
                                9                            2                           2

These nine races consisted of two discards. Trunal’s discards were race number 5 (26) and race number 1 (16). The total points excluding the two discards were 51.


(L-R): Adi Unwalla, Trustee, Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Pheroza J. Godrej, Trunal Helegaonkar, the proud recipient of the rolling trophy for the “Indian Best Sailor?and Jamshyd N. Godrej at the INS Jawahar, Mumbai.

With 51 points, Trunal stood seventh in the IODA Asians 2003. He was given a silver plate as a prize for the overall seventh position. The top 10 were given prizes. The top three in each race were given trophies. Trunal got a trophy for standing second in the ninth race.

Trunal Helegaonkar was also chosen as the “Indian Best Sailor?and was given a rolling trophy. He was the only Indian to be selected among the 10 other participants. 58 participants from 12 countries had taken part in the event. Other countries which participated were China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

In the team event, there were two teams from India: Team A and Team B. Trunal was the captain of Team A. His team won the bronze medal and a trophy. The gold and silver medals were won by Singapore and Malaysia, respectively.

This apart, Chairman and Managing Director Jamshyd N. Godrej felicitated Trunal on 3 January, 2004 at the INS Jawahar, Mumbai.

Kavita Amin
Udayachal High School

Sports 2003-2004

Marching ?Ek?Do?Ek

It was a moment of great pride for Udayachal High School (UHS) on 26 January, 2004 as, for the first time, both R.S.P. (Road Safety Patrol) Boys and Girls platoon were selected for the Governor’s Parade to be held at Shivaji Park, Mumbai. They were selected amongst 125 schools, which had participated in the qualifying round. The mission was achieved due to the dedication and sincere hard work put in by children and our Sports Teachers, P.A. Kudchikar, G.D. Kadam and Lesley Subba, to groom them well for the March.

Master Dattatray Raut (Standard IX EC) was judged the “Best Platoon Commander?of the Mumbai Division. We are proud of you.

Handball Tournament

We are proud of our under 17 Handball team (Boys) who won the finals for the first time in the Mumbai Suburban Inter-School Handball Tournament against Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu. Our team also won the finals of the Mumbai District Inter-School Handball Tournament against St. Joseph High School, Wadala (score 15-5) and became proud champions of the Mumbai Division in the Tournament.

In fact it was for the first time that our UHS team got a chance to represent Mumbai District at the State Championships.


The Runners-Up of the Subroto Mukerjee Cup and the Inter-School Football Tournament with (centre from left) former UHS Principal Evangeline Ranjan, Science Coordinator Rekha Pandey and Sports teacher P.A. Kudchikar. Standing on the extreme ends are Sports Teachers (left) G.D. Kadam and (right) Lesley Subba.

Inter-School Football Tournament

The under 17 boys of the UHS participated in the Subroto Mukerjee Cup and the Inter-School Tournament. They were Runners-Up in both the Tournaments.

The team played well throughout the Tournament, but lost the finals in a tiebreaker against St. Domnic Savio School, Mumbai.

Gurdeep Pannu
Udayachal High School

 

Reflections from Childhood
 

As I sat by my window one night
I thought about those lovely days
I thought about by childhood
Which was memorable in many ways

I drifted off to the days when
I was just a baby
I played on my mother’s lap
And did some queer things, maybe!

Soon I grew up a little
And I learnt to walk
I drew illegible designs on walls
And scribbled on everything with chalk

Slowly, I learnt to speak too
Which certainly was an achievement
I chattered away in my own tongue
Not knowing what it all meant!

As I grew, I was sent to school
Where I learnt to count and spell
 

I learnt to work with building blocks
One colour from the other, I could tell

As the years sped by, I grew and grew
Friends came and went
To new surroundings I adapted
I learnt what life really meant!

As I grow up, I still reminisce
About my precious childhood
Which taught me innumerable lessons
And gave me all the happiness it could

Today I stand, almost a teen
I’ve left those days behind
I wish they would come back and
Forever be mine!!

Ashwathi Thampi
J.K. Singhania School
Daughter of Ajitkumar Thampi
and Prema Thampi
(Prima Division)

 

 

When I Thought For A While
 

While solving Mathematics,
I thought for a while
Whose mind invented it, it is indeed a pile.
Rather you have to go over it,
or it will go over you.
Men who adore it, are really very few.

If you give it an inch, it takes a mile.
If you are able to do it, it makes you smile.
If you want to overcome it, should keep yourself calm.
Solving it indeed, wets your palm.

No matter you practice it day and night.
But still it goes over, like an Air-India flight.
But when I found it very easy to solve,
The mind was right became my ever resolve.

Swapnil Tajve
Birla College of Arts, Science and Commerce
Son of A.N. Tajve
(Security Department)
 

 
* For further details on the Spastics Society of India, please read “Putting ‘Spastic?on the Indian Map?by Rashna Ardesher, CHANGE, November-December 2003 (Vol. 3, No. 6).