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Another month and another list of happenings from Pune's schools and colleges. Whether it is dances, the environment, mouth- watering delicacies or representing your country in the `Millennium Young People's Congress' in Hawaii - the Pune kids can't seem to get enough.

Trip The Light Fantastic

Adding spice to everyone's life was Spicer Memorial College when the students got together and celebrated the food, cultural and environmental days. Starting off with a Food Fair, the Spicer College made sure that they lived upto their name. Mouth-watering delicacies from different parts of the world were on display, prepared specially by the students themselves. The heady aromas and eye-catching garnishes left taste-buds tantalized and asking for more! Cleanliness begins at home. Never was an adage lived up to than on the eve of the Environmental Day, when the student population donned overalls and picked up their broomsticks and rakes to sweep their immediate surroundings clean. The sky as black as ink, with every star shining forth, the occasional rumble and fork of lightning was the backdrop for the Cultural Emphasis Day. In these days of unpredictable rain showers, the stage was courageously set up under the open sky. Part of the three day fest, the Cultural Day beat them all. Bringing forth the dance, music and costumes of over fifteen states, it made for an enchanting evening. Music broke all barriers of language as every person present swayed under the spell. On the whole - an evening that was spiced up with song and dance.

Birthday Bumps!

It was celebration time. Time to blow out the candles and cut the cake. And rightly so, as principal John Bastable and his Mercedes Benz International School celebrated their birthday with pizzazz. While the live band played, teachers and students took to the floor and what followed was the frenetic charge that engulfed everyone in an enthralling evening. While Bastable, who turned fifty, took turns dancing with his colleagues and the students alike, it was a delight watching him let his hair down as he tried to match step with his students. However, the piece de resistance was when the teachers, including a lot of foreigners, dressed in salwar kameez put up a bhangra dance, stomping their feet to the beats. Needless to say, it was a wonderful evening which afforded a dekko at the admirable relationship between the teachers and the tiny and the not-so-tiny-tots!


Can you imagine representing your country in a congress that aims to ensure the sustainability of all life forms on earth for the next 1000 years and presenting a `People's Agenda' to the United Nations General Assembly? All at the age of fourteen! Well, it might not seem very real to you but for one bright girl - Juhi Nagarkatti, it is reality. This five feet eight inch kid, is one calm, confident and cool girl. The tenth standard student of St.Mary's, Pune is one of the two children who will represent India in the `Millennium Young People's Congress' (MYPC) to be held in Hawaii. The selection procedure was no cakewalk. It began in July-August of this year with WWF as the national co- ordinators who visited all the schools. Students were selected from twenty to thirty schools in Pune and then fifteen students from the country were short-listed for a telephonic interview. She is one of the 1000 students who will address issues on peace, social equality and justice, the environment, global economies and the preservation of the unique cultures of the world's indigenous populations. If this sounds heavy duty to you, you ain't heard anything yet! After a missive by Adam Bien, MYPC International Co-ordinator stating that she bring at least one action proposal of her own to the Congress, (it was supposed to be her entrance fee!) Juhi takes with her, on her all-expense- paid-trip, not one but three viable proposals. One, is on pollution caused by plastics and the wide spread distribution of paper bags. The other is the need for vocational training for children for the inculcation of practical skills. The third, is making people aware of vermiculture and how they can use it for their benefit as well as the environment's. Are you wondering how a fourteen year old gets to be so intelligent? It's in the genes! Parents do their little bit after all! Juhi's parents who are devoted environmentalists don't only encourage her but are involved whole-heartedly in her endeavors to make a difference. Coming back to the person under the limelight, when Juhi went on a shopping spree for formal wear her mother was worried about how her tall and lanky daughter would manage her bursting suitcases, as she said, "She's all length and no breadth!" But we feel, she'll do just fine. Here's one teeny-bopper with more on her mind than boys and parties!

Teacher, Teacher!

Talking about Mrs. Oliver, here's an interesting nugget from her. "Boys, truly are the most delightful creatures," she quips happily. Though this might come as a surprise to most of us, this is one lady who knows all about the creatures in question. Having dedicated the greater part of her life to the education of the young, at Vincent's School, this new principal of Dastur Boys School says, she hopes to put the school even more strongly on the academic and sports map of Pune city. She enthuses, "You can't force a child to learn, you have to motivate him and only then do you get well-rounded, well developed young men." More of which we definitely would love!

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