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.
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.
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
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!
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!