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A trip to the moon and back

Explorers in space: The group on its way to NASA

Thirty eight students of Cambridge Public School left for the US to participate in the space mission training programme approved by NASA. The team would be spending a week at the U.S. Space Academy located at Huntsville, Alabama getting first-hand experience on space travel through simulation, astronaut machines, rocket-building and robotics.

Space walkers

Here, as trainees, they will find out how it would feel like to walk on the moon in a simulator called ‘1/6th Chair’. In the ‘Multi-access Trainer’, they will experience the disorientation astronauts would feel if a capsule went into a tumble spin. ‘The G-Force’ is another simulator which prepares trainees for the forces of acceleration experienced by astronauts during launch. ‘Space Shot’ is another exciting simulator which launches trainees 140 feet in 2.5 seconds along with 2-3 seconds of free fall.

‘The Space-walk Simulator’ features a space walk outside the International Space Station. The best part of the Space camp is ‘The Rocket Construction and Launch’ where the team will discover how rockets function by creating and launching their own rockets.

“I am thrilled to participate. I recently read that our Prime Minister has announced a scholarship in higher education on space, after Sunita Williams. I hope that this Space Camp will be a stepping stone for me to attain the scholarship and be a mission specialist and board a space shuttle one day,” said Sindhuri Talwar, a student of Class IX.

Another student, Akarsh. M., said, “I am fascinated by space studies. Reading books on astronomy is my favourite past time. My enthusiasm towards the space science increased when our school took us on an educational visit to ISRO, Bangalore. Now, this is a dream come true for me. When I was a child I had the dream of becoming an astronomer. So, this programme is a footstep for me to reach my goal."

Vice-principal Kamakshi Jayaram, who is accompanying the team, could not hide her joy and said that she felt like as if she was back in school. “I feel like a child myself and I am very proud to accompany the students to this space camp. Today’s age and times have a lot to offer. We live in a progressive nation, it is a free country, technology helps better connectivity across the social spectrum, economy is robust and there is a positive change in mindsets. It is all about balance.

And balance is what we seek in our lives and what better place to offer it than a school which provides the ideal atmosphere for a child to soak it all in,” Ms. Kamakshi added.

Abacus International Montessori School, Tirupur

Children from Abacus International Montessori School, Tirupur, were recently taken on a trek to Yercaud. At Kurumbapatti, the foot hills, they crossed a river on a rope, and later lit a campfire. The next morning, they jogged for four km, and soon got ready for mountain climbing. They climbed 150 feet, amidst coffee plants and other greenery.

Bonding over a game of Bridge

The triumphant six: The camp was aimed to fine-tune their skills.

Not often does one come across school students playing bridge. Students of Sri Vidya Mandir Matric H.S. School, Mohan Nagar, Salem, surprised many by competing with players more than double their age at the XIX Rishiyur Subramanyam Krishnan Memorial Open Contract Bridge tournament. The event jointly organised by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Tiruchi, and the Tiruchi District Bridge Association at the Kailasapuram Club concluded in Tiruchi recently.


Six students — A. Saathwik Alex (Std. VII), A. Poomagan (Std. VII), S. Janani Sri (Std. VI), A. Ridhuja (Std. VI), N.S. Kavin (Std. V), A. Ajay Alex (Std. VIII) — took to bridge seriously only couple of months ago. The coaching camp organised by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in the township provided them with an opportunity to fine-tune their skills. B. Ramakrishnan trained the youngsters.

“It was S. Balasundaram, the captain of the SAIL bridge team, who had organised the useful camp. We also like to thank BHEL for accepting the registration of these youngsters for the tournament with professionals,” says Ramakrishnan.

“The game sharpens memory, improves analytical skills and has helped these youngsters to perform well in academics. I commend their parents for allowing their wards to take up the game.”

Ramakrishnan says that there is no precedent for bridge like chess for the simple reason that the 52 cards in the pack can be dealt with in 696 billion ways among four players and the possibility of picking up the same 13 cards for the second time is remote.

Ramakrishnan notes that the youngsters are quick learners and the Tiruchi-tournament gave them the much-needed exposure.

Cleaning up the beaches

It was ‘Coastal Clean Up Day’ and young people participated and how! 

On the beaches: With a wonderful sense of purpose.

A young boy wearing gloves picked up trash littered on the beach at Panambur here and carefully put it into a plastic bag as his mother looked on encouragingly.

They were part of a group of volunteers participating in the ‘Coastal Clean up Day’.

This scene was repeated at two other beaches in and around Mangalore, namely the one at Tannirbhavi and at Suratkal. Participating in this mammoth clean up drive were students, and National Cadet Corps members of various schools in and around the city.

They descended on the beaches with a sense of purpose and left only after ensuring that the beaches had indeed been left clean and rid of all the trash callously thrown around.

A quick glance at the topic on the Internet gives one the idea of the enormity of the task before authorities who undertake this mission annually – the Indian Coast Guard in this case – with the sole idea of creating general public awareness on the issue. Worldwide, more than 7 million pounds of trash were picked up last year by 3.58-lakh volunteers along 34,560 miles of coastline and along waterways and lakes.

Mammoth task

International Coastal Clean-Up Day is traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday in September under the United Nations Environmental Programme. All around the world, on this day, volunteers go and contribute their mite in ensuring that the beaches are free of trash.

Commandant Manoj Badkar, Commander, Coast Guard Karnataka, who took the lead in organising the event, hit the nail on the head when he observed that Beach Clean up should not be just an annual ritual but become a process which is ingrained into the psyche of the people.

Even the students who participated in the drive echoed these sentiments when they said that they would prefer to visit a beach that was clean.

More heartening was their assertion that at least they did not litter the beach and encouraged their friends and families to keep the beaches clean. Incidentally, a young Texan girl who picked up trash on the beach there some years ago is believed to have inspired this event.

Dancing with the stars

Meet a special citizen of the Universe – Sunita Williams. 

Sunita Williams continues to make waves. The other day she struck a chord at Bluebells International School which ushered in its 50th year by inviting the astronaut to school. The Indian-born astronaut who has created a record with the longest-ever stay by a woman in space and completed a spacewalk of more than 29 hours, was accorded a warm reception and greeted by curious young minds. Students from Sanskriti and Modern School also participated in the event.

Life in space

The students put forth a lot of interesting queries including one on ‘space cuisine’. The most adventurous part of her six-month long stint in space, according to her, was the marathon that she ran involving her hitting the treadmill for four and a half hours continuously. Elaborating on the health hazards of a space odyssey, which could result in loss of muscle around the hips, Williams said even the spinal cord gets lengthened by a couple of inches which constricts back once back on earth. The vessels in the body also take time to settle after having been subjected to zero-gravity conditions.

Williams, who has long been a part of an otherwise male-dominated profession, said she had trained at the U.S Naval Academy initially and then joined NASA subsequently. An interesting account given by her was that while looking from space, earth is beautiful and round with no boundaries which meant that all the boundaries existed only on paper. She also drew a parallel between the Gandhian philosophy of brotherhood and the International Space Station as the latter is a place which functions because of the collective efforts of astronauts who hail from different countries and cultures. Talking about Kalpana Chawla, Williams said that she somewhere felt the need to complete a mission that Chawla left incomplete. When asked as to how her cross-cultural lineage had contributed towards shaping her, she replied that it had made her more tolerant of differences and broadened her perspective.

Her father Deepak Pandya attributed his daughter’s accomplishments to her individual persistence to chase her dreams. With Sunita in space he was not unnerved at any juncture because he reposed complete faith in the Almighty. As a child she watched transfixed when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, it was then that she dreamt of dancing with the stars. She summed up her visit to the school quoting the words of Kalpana Chawla, “I feel like a citizen of the universe”.

Foster friendship through games

Wondering what is going to be the mascot at the Military World Games to be held here? 
For strength and Vigour: The mascot, the Great Indian Bison

The word military instantly brings to mind violence and war – the reasons why the Conseil Internationale du Sport Militaire (CISM) or Council for International Military Sports came up with a brilliant idea in 1948 in France. Rather than work in isolation towards selfish ends it was unanimously decided that friendship should be fostered amongst military personnel and through what better common ground than sport!

The Indian Armed Forces joined the CISM in the year 1999 and in a short span of eight years has been bestowed with the honour of hosting the 4th Military World Games in the twin cities. “Hyderabad has had the credit of having successfully hosted the Afro-Asian Games. Besides, being one of the biggest Cantonments with the presence of the Tri Services, made the city the ideal choice,” said Col. Sanjay Khanna, official spokesperson, 54th Infantry Division, Military World Games which is conducting the forthcoming Games on behalf of the Indian Military.

Mega event

From a 100 countries, 5000 athletes will be participating in 13 disciplines from October 14 to 21. Bravo, the mascot, was conceptualised to represent the Great Indian Bison or Gaur, symbolising strength and vigour.

Eleven disciplines will be held at Hyderabad and the sailing and triathlon events at Mumbai. The pentathlon, parachuting and shooting are specific to the Military Games and promise to be interesting.

Kruthika of Std. IX, one of the 200 army school children participating in a dance at the opening ceremony, said “We are excited that the Military World Games is being held outside Europe for the first time and in our city.” While her seniors, volunteers Akriti and Bhavana said, “This is going to be such a huge event just being part of it makes us really happy. And yes, we are looking forward to witnessing the events and meeting Olympic champions.” Close to 2000 student volunteers from schools and colleges have been assigned tasks in various capacities such as ushering, hospitality, media and so on.

Entry is free except to the opening and closing ceremonies however passes will assure seating. Keeping with the motto of the Games “Friendship Through Sport” let’s pitch in sportingly and play perfect hosts!! Information regarding event schedules, venues, tickets and passes can be obtained on

Mukkala Nammalwar Chetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Kundrathur

Krishna Jayanthi was celebrated in a colourful manner at Mukkala Nammalwar Chetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Kundrathur. Children presented a wonderful cultural programme on Krishna. Many of the children dressed as Krishna and Radha. The school premises wore a festive look.

 For the love of reading

 Have you ever read a book in a foreign language? Or enjoyed a story in pictures? They can be great fun. Look at the Asterix comics for instance. Witty dialogues and super illustrations — do you really need to read to enjoy a good laugh? Come to the Alliance Francaise library, to check out this theory. The “Espace Jeunesse” isn’t a space station. It’s actually the junior’s space at the Alliance library.

Recently inaugurated this area is exclusively for young people to get an introduction to the French language and culture in the best way possible — exploring the literature of the country through characters like Lucky Luke and Boule et Bill. Get to know them better as you look through the lovely hard bound editions.
Reading space

The St. John’s Residential School students had come for a visit. They enjoyed rifling through the different magazines, jumping on the floor cushions and trying to name the various stuffed toys placed around. The compact disc section is exciting with interesting titles but ultimately it’s the books and magazines that were popular.

There are hardly any rules to be followed. “It’s a place for young readers to have a good time with the different books we have for them,” says Mr. Dhanapal. V who is the most benign librarian you have ever met. No looking unsmilingly over round spectacle rims, daring you to dog ear a book. Instead he is happy when young people drop by and check out the books, DVDs and CDs. He neatly arranges the shelves patiently after eager hands have ransacked them.

The room is large and airy. The windows nearly reach the floor and the sills make a comfortable seat. There is no noise to disturb the serious reader. Most of the books are in French, though your favourite Asterix and Tintin in English might lurk around. Don’t let this put you off. Maybe it’s just the start to learning French and opening up a whole new world of literary possibilities.

Call 044 28279803 and ask for the library.


Hippocampus presents a theatre workshop by Jeeva Raghunathan, for kids aged between five and eight years. Jeeva Raghunathan is a professional storyteller who has been working with kids for nearly 10 years. The workshop begins on October 7. The Production “Who will be Ningthou”, a charming folktale from Manipur, gently leads a child to think about harmony with nature and gender equality.

For further details contact Hippocampus at 9444049175 / 24661544.

Protecting the web of life

The world is as delicate and complicated as a spider’s web, if you touch one thread, you send shudders running through all the other threads that make up the web.... I think conservation is one of the most necessary things in a world full on unnecessary activities.

The 26 boys from the Police Boys Club, Sembium, absorbed this quote, with which the slide show “The story of life on earth” ended. Seated in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, auditorium they were part of the Zoo school programme, a mission of the zoo to educate students on the role of the zoo in animal conservation. The slide show was displayed and explained by Dr. Manimozhi.

A wildlife welfare kit and a mini zoo questionnaire were handed out. The slideshow highlighted the different species and the habitats, the web of life, the extinction of some species; the threats that animals face and the consequences. That every species has a specific role to play in nature and that this happened in our daily life was food for thought. That bees help to pollinate and that bacteria helps decompose, were some thoughts. Thus we are interconnected and need each other to sustain life.

Calling themselves the Green Army, the group had taken an oath to keep the planet litter-free. And so, they wended their way through the zoo, admiring the animals, noting down interesting and unique facts and collecting litter in a bag that they carried between them.

Rafeek, Std. X of RBC School, Perambur, who was the main spokesman of the group, said that this was a wonderful opportunity to see a variety of animals in one place, like the giraffe, the kangaroo, the tiger and the lion-tailed monkey. They got to know that this species of monkey was found only in the Western Ghats and therefore needed to be protected. Thrilled by the hauntingly beautiful white peacock, amused by the chimps that behaved “just like us” had them discussing the nature of the animals. The deceptively docile Bison had them awe-struck.

As the storm clouds gathered and the animals that had been sheltering in covered areas due to the intense heat came out, it was time for the boys to leave this haven for animals.

At the zoo

Avoid carrying things in plastic bags.

Do not tease animals by throwing stones or by making provoking noises.

Do not feed the animals. They have their own food habits.

The zoo is a litter-free zone and plastic kills.

Shillong kids drum up world record

- Overwhelming turnout at percussion event ensures Guinness entry

It may not be time for the winter solstice yet, but the mood was akin to Saturnalia on a Saturday. Meghalaya, which boasts of the highest rainfall in the world, made a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records today when as many as 7,951 percussionists beat drums to mark the beginning of the five-day annual Autumn Festival here.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex was a chock-a-block with spectators from across the country cheering the participants. They burst into thunderous applause as Michael Sean Whitty of the Guinness Book of World Records, who was flown from the UK to adjudicate the event, congratulated the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) — the organisers of the festival — on the unique feat.

The earlier record was held by Po Leung Kuk Charity of Hong Kong which had organised a performance by 7,727 drummers in February 2005.

MTDF, comprising tour operators, hoteliers, event managers, architects and politicians is the official record holder.

Meghalaya already holds two Guinness records — Cherrapunjee for the highest rainfall in a month and Mawsynram for the highest rainfall in a year.

Participants beat drums for five minutes in an orchestrated manner with their Rudy Wallang-composed piece Positive Vibrations. Garos, Khasis and Jaintias, dressed in traditional attire, added colour to the event. Personnel from defence establishments like Assam Regimental Centre, Indian Air Force and Meghalaya Police also joined the ensemble.

Schoolchildren were accompanied by college students, housewives and even elders.

“It’s the experience of a lifetime. I never dreamt of being an integral part of a record-breaking event,” said a proud Sangyusang Pongeneani, a national awardee of Sangeet Natak Akademi and leader of a group of participants from Nagaland.

“My son was part of the ensemble. I, too, wanted to join them,” said H. Lyngdoh, who, along with her 10-year-old son participated in the event.

The other attraction was an electrifying performance by Air Devils of the Indian Air Force. Breathtaking parachute stunts held the spectators spellbound. Meghalaya minister for tourism and chairman of MTDC R.G. Lyngdoh said the new world record was a milestone in the history of the state. It would put the state on world tourism map, he said. Former chief minister D.D. Lapang inaugurated the event.

Bangalorean makes Guinness record

BANGALORE: The Guinness Book of Records has certified and recognised veena artiste N Karthik's record of performing most number of concerts in 24 hours. Bangalore's N Karthik, who is a marketing professional, performed 50 concerts between November 29, 8.45 am and November 30, 8.45 am.

The duration of each concert was 15 minutes in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Guinness authority. Interestingly, Karthik chose one of the most well-known music areas in Bangalore, Malleswaram, to set his record.

He selected 50 halls within a radius of three km. He proceeded from one hall to another after every 15-minute concert. "I was exhausted but happy that I reached my goal of creating a record. All my friends, relatives and parents were elated and they were all sure that I would make it," he said.

Karthik's record replaced the record of South African Adam Tras, who performed 41 gigs. In recognition of 32-year-old Karthik's achievement, the Guinness authority has sent him a world record certificate and an appreciation letter.

Karthik's record will be mentioned in the 2008 edition of the Guinness book since the 2007 edition has already been published. Karthik hails from a musical family with both parents being performing artistes.

He trained under his uncle, late C Krishnamurthy, and continued under M V Krishnamurthy for 15 years. He will be performing at the Hampi utsav along with his father.

V.T. High School

J. Sharmila (Std. VII) of V.T. High School, V. Swathi (Std. VIII) of Nalanda Talent School and A. Ajay Raj (Std. X) of Sloka School, showcased their talent at a public meeting organised by the Telugu Desam at Maddilapalem by jumping through rings of fire and crawling under bars that blazed under the watchful eyes of their karate master Govind Yadav. Former Minister Kodela Siva Prasad was present at the programme.

Best Teacher awardees honoured

TIRUCHI: Recipients of ‘Dr. Radhakrishnan Award’ and the ‘National Best Teacher Award’ of Tiruchi district for 2006 were honoured at a function sponsored by the district wing of the Tamil Nadu Private School Teacher Staff Association here on Sunday.

While R. Vairavel, Headmaster of Trinity Aided Elementary School in Adavathur, bagged the national award, 10 teachers got ‘Dr. Radhakrishnan Award’ presented by the State Government.

Transport Minister K.N. Nehru honoured Mr. Vairavel with a golden ring and the other teachers with a shawl each.

He called upon them to impart discipline to students, with a thrust on national integration.

Students should be guided to desist from religion-based differences for the overall progress and development of the nation. He assured the teachers that the Government would consider their demand.

He said Tiruchi district was emerging an educational hub both in terms of quality of education and the number of educational institutions.

P. Ezhilvanan, who delivered the acceptance address on behalf of the awardees, spoke on the role of teachers in shaping society and the country.

Deputy Mayor M. Anbhazhagan and association president K. Tirumavalavan were among those who spoke.

Medical camp for children

Camp to screen children suffering from various heart ailments

KARIMNAGAR: The Singareni Area hospital, the Warangal MGM and the Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad will be jointly conducting a mega medical camp.
Heart ailments

The camp will screen the children suffering from various heart ailments at Godavarikhani Government hospital on October 17.

Children below 12 years of age who are suffering from heart ailments, of Manthani and Peddapalli revenue divisions, were informed to attend the medical camp for the screening, in order to provide necessary medical assistance, such as surgeries, in Hyderabad. The dates for screening of patients of Karimnagar, Jagtial and Sircilla divisions would be announced later.

Further details could be obtained 98663-13058, 98499-02498 and 98490-84566, according to an official release here on Monday.

Self-taught child wonder

HYDERABAD: She does not even know when and she is still very young to understand why. But the sordid part of the story is that the moment her parents came to know that she was visually challenged (it may even be congenital), they dumped her on the road, somewhere.

Little Sarada, who may be only seven, just by listening to her ‘akkas’ (elder sisters) at her adopted home and school, has picked up the nuances of singing.
Unending applause

The applause never seemed to end recently at the Indira Priyadarshini auditorium, where Sarada sang ‘Maunangane edagamani’, a song from the superhit film ‘Naa Autograph’.

Even as they clapped, people asked for an encore. And she obliged them, along with her brethren from the Sunethra School for the Blind, Ibrahimpatnam, in Ranga Reddy district.

The school is part of an NGO Institute for Training, Relief, Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Distressed and Disinherited (ITRRODDD).

Interestingly, Sarada was at Sishu Vihar, State-run Home for Abandoned Children, here, and was adopted by the NGO along with six others. She was only three when she was adopted.
Action plan

The function was organised by the AP Vikalangula Cooperative Corporation to mark the release of the ‘first-ever Braille version of the Right to Information Act’.

After she unveiled it, Minister for Disabled Welfare N. Rajyalakshmi said the department was in the process of drafting an action plan by virtue of which it would be able to pool resources available with different departments to be channelised for the welfare of the disabled.

School chosen for national award

KADAPA: The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has chosen Helen Keller’s High School for the Deaf and Rehabilitation Centre in Kadapa for a national award for 2006 for outstanding contribution in the field of women and child welfare.

Girl bags global award in painting competition

GUNTUR: N. Kavya, a class 7 student of Chitrakalaniketan School, has bagged the coveted international award in Children Fest-2007, a global painting competition.

Asian Pacific of UNESCO Club, Association, and World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centre, organised the competition. Kavya secured fourth prize in the competition, school principal V. Krishna Prasad has said.

Indian UNESCO Clubs will soon felicitate the student.

Essay contest for school students

CHENNAI: The Reserve Bank of India, Chennai, will conduct an essay competition in English and Tamil for school students.

Topics for the participants would depend on the category they belong to. For juniors, it is ‘What a bank means to me’, for those in middle level, ‘If I were a bank manager’ and for the seniors, ‘Economic development of a nation – role of banks’.

Students in Classes VI to VIII could apply in the junior category, those in Classes IX and X in the middle level, and those in Classes XI and XII, in the senior category.

Schools may conduct the competition in their premises and send the best entry in each category to the Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, 16, Rajaji Salai, Chennai – 600001, marking ‘Financial inclusion essay competition’ on the envelope before October 31. Cash prizes of Rs.10,000, Rs.7,500 and Rs.5,000 will be awarded to the winners of the first three places in each category and language. Children of RBI employees are not eligible, according to a press release.

Sunday turns fun day for kids

CHENNAI: Red balloons, Winnie the Pooh, Noddy and children dancing around them squealing with delight. Sunday morning was filled with fun and entertainment for a group of cancer-afflicted children, and their mothers.

Magic and mimicry shows followed. For one morning, nothing else but fun seemed to matter. As the morning wore on, the children were busy playing pass the balloon to the “big doll” in a Noddy costume, even as many speeches were being made.

“In healthcare, there should be no divide, no child should go without treatment,” Adyar Cancer Institute chairperson V. Shantha said, emphasising that while paediatric cancer had been an area of success, those who come from lower socio economic groups needed support.

“State of the art treatment is provided to all those who need it, so costs are high. We hope many more corporates come forward to help the cause,” she said, promising that all “her children” would definitely live to see tomorrow.

Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, N. Ram, started with a special acknowledgement of the children present. “This is your day,” he said, wishing them all the best for their future and for their education.

Mr. Ram said the new economy, propelled by the corporates, needed such service-oriented interventions. Corporate social responsibility was important, but underlying it all was humanism, he stressed. “The economy is growing well, but in its midst we have the largest mass of deprivation. What kind of difference can I make is the question that should arise in everyone’s minds,” he said, requesting the Sabari group to provide sustained resources towards this cause.

The event was organised by the Quality Sabari Classic banner at its new hotel in Navalur, as part of its fifth year anniversary celebrations. The hotel also gave Rs.10 lakh to the Adyar Cancer Institute for the treatment and care of cancer-afflicted children, the cheque for which was handed over by managing director of Quality Inn Sabari K.R.V. Ramani to Dr. Shantha.

Following the small ceremony, it was back to fun and games for the children.

Taking chess to the poor and interested children

Hosur: Coming from a humble background, he has produced many whiz kids in chess. Many of his wards have won laurels at the State and National level tournaments.

His love for the game prompted him to establish an exclusive academy for those hailing from poor background. “Chess is not an elite man’s game. I have taken it to the poorest of the poor, says Jayapal Chandady, founder of Hosur Chess Academy.

Founded by Mr. Chandady in January 2000, the academy has been instrumental in encouraging children to play chess in Hosur.

He told S. Prasad that when he expressed his desire to play chess at the age of 10, he was told that it was a rich man’s game.

But I wanted to make the game possible for the poor and interested children.

“My goal is to make chess reach the poorest among the poor. Though we are a country with a population of more than 100 crore we have only 14 Grandmasters in the game. If we had a liberal concept about the game we could have produced 100 Grandmasters in five years,” he says.

N. Veena of the Academy has recently won the Karnataka State under-19 championship. The Academy has developed eight FIDE-rated players from Hosur alone when compared with three FIDE-rated players from Bangalore.

Children are trained from an early age so that they get an insight into the game. The Academy has conducted about 200 tournaments in Hosur so far. The tournaments are conducted in different age categories of under 8, 10, 12, 14 and16.

Besides this, there are separate tournaments for top-seeded players such as Top 10, Elegant 8 and Super 6.

Children who succeed consecutively will be promoted to these categories, says Mr. Chandady.

Spreading Gandhiji’s message of ‘Ahimsa’

Students of Atomic Energy Central School and Atomic Energy Junior College, ECIL Post, celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with enthusiasm.

Students held placards on Gandhiji’s ideals like ‘Defeat Himsa with Ahimsa’, ‘Non-violence-the most powerful weapon’, ‘Be Indian, Buy Indian’, etc.

Later, in the day they took out a community development rally on the occasion of International Day of Non-Violence. School Principal G. R. Goud led the rally. The students and staff who collected unused medicines later donated them to a medical dispensary that offered free consultation and medicines to the poor living in slums near S.V.Nagar, on the city outskirts. A poster exhibition on Gandhi was held on October 3.
P. Obul Reddy School

Members of the Rotary Interact Club of P. Obul Reddy Public School, Jubilee Hills, visited a school for the underprivileged children – Clap School in Kukatpally last week.

Located in the middle of a slum, the school strives to provide basic literacy to the slum dwellers. T.L. Reddy, who organised the field visit, spoke about the role of the CLAP School in imparting education and motivating parents to enrol their children in Government schools.

The students entertained the children with dance and music and distributed sweets. The visit was aimed at creating a sense of responsibility among students to change the lives of poor children.
Pallavi Model School

The 13th Annual Day of Pallavi Model School was celebrated on at Harihara Kala Bhavan on October 2. About 400 students participated in the colourful presentation ‘Raag Rasa Rang’ focusing on ‘Nava Rasas’ and their importance in people’s lives through various dances, songs and tableaux. Students who topped the CBSE exam were honoured. ‘The Best all-round student’ and ‘The Best Student of the Year’ awards were given away for each class. The chief guest was MP V. Hanumantha Rao. Classical dances Swathy Somnath, Kavitha Ananth of Asianet Sitara Channel were also present.
Sanghamitra School

Class X students of Sanghamitra School attended the interactive sessions at the recently held Astronautical Congress at the Hitex City. They benefited from the presentations of former President Abdul Kalam and astronaut Sunitha Williams.
Vijaya High School

Students of Vijaya High School, AS Rao Nagar, Kapra, won the first prize along with rolling Shield in the Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA) Quiz 2007 organised by Survey of India at OU campus recently. About 300 teams from various schools in Hyderabad and RR districts participated.

INCA Chairman Swarna Subba Rao complimented the winners -- A. Sravan, V. Sravan and K. Vivek Vardhan -- who would participate in the national-level competition to be held in Visakhapatnam on October 14. School chairman K. Basappa gave away prizes to the winners.
KV, Langar Houz

The 20th regional-level National Youth Parliament Competitions were held at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1 Golconda on October 3.

About 50 students from KV No.1 Golconda and KV No. II Golconda acted as young parliamentarians and discussed issues like serial bomb blasts in Hyderabad, review of NCERT textbooks etc.
DAV Public School

DAV Public School, Kukatpally, hosted ‘Science Spectra’ with students from the DAV Public Schools of South zone taking part in the event. The students presented a variety of low cost working models on ‘Conservation of Energy’ and 12 best models were awarded prizes. The exhibition was inaugurated by Justice R. N. Mittalji, vice-president, DAV College Managing Committee and Seetha Kiran, Regional Director, DAV Institutions, South Zone.

New hi-tech school for Hyderabad

ONE more school with international standards of education is to start from the next academic year here under the management of the DRS group which has been involved in shipping and air cargo business.

Called the DRS International School, it promises to offer the right education to mould children through new as well as time-tested methods.

Mr T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner, who is on the school's board, said the central purpose of the school was to be reckoned as No. 1 in the country by promoting patriotism, excellence, courage, empathy, righteousness and sacrifice besides enriching children with knowledge.

There would be no capitation fee and the school would not be run on profit lines.

But to meet the cost of facilities, the fees would be high. A few scholarships would be given to poor children to study in the school.

Banish those butterflies in your tummy

How many times did your mind go blank every time your turn came to speak before a crowd? Even the most common and obvious facts seem to elude the mind right at that moment! For all those students whose knees turn into jelly at the thought of speaking before the public and whose heart starts pounding frantically when they have to stand up to answer a question, The Hindu’s Newspaper in Education (NIE) session on “speaking skills” at Nalanda Talent School ca me as a boon.


It was an eye opener session for many who had always evaded speaking before the public. The students of Std. VII learnt not just valuable tips for public speaking, the difference between disseminating factual information and an opinion was discussed in the class. Giving examples of railway stations and bus stops, the NIE resource person, Sudha Rao, said that factual information is presented in monotones without any expression or feeling and is meant to just provide some information. Whereas an opinion is peppered with adjectives and vivid descriptions giving different perspectives of a single event, she added. The students also got some interesting tips on voice modulations that enhanced the impact of the speech.

Public speaking involves a lot of factors like good language, humour, presentation and body language, they were told. The practice session not only gave the students an opportunity to enhance their speaking skills, but also removed the initial hesitation. Many hands went up and the otherwise quiet students opened up and clarified their doubts. During the activity session, the initial inhibitions of many students faded away as they actively took part in it. They were asked to come forward and speak for a minute about their favourite television programme. The excited students took the cue from there and came up with innovative ideas to describe their most preferred show.

What children like most about India

CHENNAI: If Shah Jahan were alive, he would, perhaps, be flattered. Not because his Taj Mahal acquired a “new wonder” status recently, but the monument seems to have thousands of young fans.

This was evident at the ‘India Art Contest’ organised by Aavishkaar India here on Sunday. Aavishkaar India is an organisation working out of Chennai and Hyderabad and involved in conducting events for children.

The topic given to the participants, in the age group seven to 14 years, was ‘What I like most about India’. And the number of Taj Mahals created in different sizes and colours was proof-enough for the fascination children have for the age old structure.

Over 1,000 students from nearly 30 city schools participated in the drawing and painting contest.

The contest was held in two categories — the junior category for students in Classes III, IV and V; and the senior category for students in Classes VI, VII and VIII.

Winners, to be chosen by a panel of teachers and artists, would receive prizes such as bicycles, watches and cameras. However, what may excite them most is the notebook they will receive in about a month’s time, sporting their own painting on the cover page.

Aavishkaar India spokesperson Sumitha Sundaram said: “We will scan and print every entry and send back a notebook with the child’s painting on the wrapper.”

The contest will be held in Madurai next week. Aavishkaar has also been organising eco-tours for school children. “We believe that only if children are exposed to the beauty of our country, will they want to stay here and contribute to its growth. All our events have focussed on promoting India among school children,” Ms. Sundaram added.

Bal Vikas Bank: Run by street children, for street children

The Children’s Development Bank offers loans to poor children to start up small businesses and teaches them to become self-reliant    
“My plan is to open up a shop and take another loan from the bank to do it,” says an optimistic 16-year-old who, till recently, earned a living picking up garbage from the streets of Delhi. Thanks to the Children’s Development Bank, popularly called the Bal Vikas Bank (BVB), Afroz now sells wallets, T-shirts, combs and other small knick-knacks from a pushcart he bought with a loan from the children’s bank.

With a local shopkeeper acting as a loan guarantor, Afroz took his Rs 5,000 loan six months ago. He was able to pay it off in three months. Since then he has taken another loan of Rs 4,500. Business has been good enough for him to consider expanding.

The Children’s Development Bank was started by Butterflies, a non-governmental organisation working with street children, in September 2001, in New Delhi. The bank soon caught the imagination of the children and demand for similar banking models in other areas began to grow. Today, the bank has four counters in Delhi (Fatehpuri, Okhla, Nizamuddin Dargah and Bhogal) and is mobile in another eight places in the national capital.

From New Delhi to Chennai, Kolkata, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar and now Leh, the bank has found enthusiastic young takers keen on becoming small entrepreneurs. It has also travelled to Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, while talks are on with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The uniqueness of the bank is the fact that it is owned and managed by street and working children who decide on the rules and regulations themselves. They are only occasionally helped out by adults.

Each BVB starts out with seed capital of Rs 2 lakh, provided by the international funding agency Comic Relief and routed through the British organisation CIVA (Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action).

The bank’s working committee includes a bank manager, bank promoters and development promoters. The bank manager is usually an adolescent chosen by the bank members. Bank promoters inform other street kids about the bank, collect money at designated contact points and help fill up application forms for membership or loans.

Development promoters are usually senior children in the age-group 16-18 who are well versed in banking and are sent to various cities to train other children.

“It’s not easy being a manager…initially the children kept getting confused about how much they had deposited or withdrawn. That’s when we decided to bifurcate the deposits into two khatas -- the jamma khata,also called chalta phirta khata (current account), and the bachat khata (savings account),” says 16-year-old Suraj, bank manager at the Fatehpuri branch.

In true democratic fashion, members of the bank, besides electing the bank manager, also elect a management committee and a loan committee. Once a month a general body meeting is held where any member is free to express his/her opinion.

With the BVB’s help, street children who usually start out as rag-pickers have now begun selling tea and plastic toys on handcarts, and set up other small enterprises. This gives them self-confidence or “izzat” (self respect), as Mohit who has shifted from rag-picking to selling snacks out on the streets, puts it.

While initially they found it difficult to save money, and were under constant threat from pickpockets, the children now put in and take out money whenever they like. To open up an account, a child has to first fill up an application form. He is then given an account number and a passbook. The minimum opening balance required is Rs 20.

The bank opens everyday from 6 pm to 8 pm; timings are usually fixed according to the children’s convenience. If a child deposits money everyday for 11 months he gets a bonus, which acts as a motivational factor.

In case a bank member wants to take a loan to start a new business, a street educator or bank promoter helps him draw up a business plan. The application is then forwarded to the loans committee that quizzes the applicant on his skills, his budget, where he plans to run the business, etc. The applicant is also asked how long it will take him to repay the loan. Once the committee is satisfied the proposal is okayed and money -- 20% of the member’s savings amount -- is credited to his account.

The bank does have a few strict rules. Pickpockets and drug addicts are not allowed to become members. And loan requests to start cigarette or paan shops are not entertained. It is also mandatory for adolescent boys who take loans to continue their schooling. Most BVB members are part of the National Institute of Open Schooling and continue studying whilst running their businesses.

“The bank was started to help street and working children get life skills, like learning to save and using money sensibly for education, training or to start businesses. Banking develops a child’s personality and teaches accounting and management, besides giving him a sense of security,” says Rita Panicker, director of Butterflies.

Suman Sachdeva, a project director with Butterflies, is, however, quick to add that the organisation doesn’t believe children should work. The bank was started given the existing realities.

Contact: Butterflies
U-40, Green Park
New Delhi
Tel: 6163935/6191063
Childline: 1098 (this is a free service)/6513552

Sunita Williams meets school children in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad, (ANI): Indian-origin American astronaut Sunita Williams on Saturday shared her experiences with school children in Ahmedabad.

The Rajasthan Hindi High School organised a special interactive session for more than 40 school students from Ahmedabad and Vadodara, with Williams.

Williams enjoyed answering and sharing her experiences with the students and also explained them what dangers lie in for an astronaut.

"We are right on the edge of how much you can lift and how much you can get to space, so that's a very interesting problem. If you are the flight tech crew of the space shuttle, I would say 75 per cent of your training is for that lift off and the emergencies that could happen," Williams told school children.

Williams, who is on her first visit to India after her successful expedition aboard space shuttle "Discovery", was conferred with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award by World Gujarati Society on Friday.

Williams is the first non-resident to receive the award. She was presented with the award by Gujarat Governor Naval Kishore Sharma.

During her weeklong stay in India, Williams will attend an event with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

She will also speak at the 58th International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad. (ANI)

Schoolboy wins legal battle against CBSE

CBSE'S refusal to change name in its certificates...

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who has challenged the CBSE'S refusal to change his names in its certificates, has won the legal battle as a city court directed the board to accept his request. Sagar Ghai, a student of Modern Public School at Rishav Vihar in East Delhi, had to take the legal recourse in September last year.

Inspiring fight

She is an example to emulate because of her work among the HIV positive. 

R. Aswathi, a Std. XI student of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, has taken upon herself the responsibility of making students aware of their role in helping their lesser privileged counterparts.

She has joined hands with Native Medicare Charitable Trust, a non-Governmental organisation (NGO) in Coimbatore working for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, to take the message across to all the schools in the city.

Working closely with the children’s support group, “Roja Koottam”, formed by NMCT, she has identified the problems such as education, treatment and social stigma, faced by HIV positive children.

She attends every meeting of Roja Koottam and helps children develop their talent.

She teaches them English, a little bit of music, dance and painting.

“Since most of them study in Tamil medium schools, they are interested in learning English,” she says.

She along with the members of Roja Koottam will visit schools in the city to talk about the disease and the problems faced by children who have fallen prey to HIV/AIDS.

“I heard stories of each of the members of Roja Koottam and learnt that they need medicines, books and nutritional supplements,” Aswathi says.

That is when she decided to talk to other students and garner support for the cause of HIV positive children.

One of her goals is also to set up a library for them. “If one student from each school donates a book, we can have a library for them,” she says.

The schools have also responded to her suggestion in conducting meetings with the higher secondary students. Seven schools have already fixed the date for the meeting

Good work continues

Though she started working for the children of Roja Koottam as part of a project to be presented at the national finals of the Horlicks WizKid competition in Bangalore, she developed a strong desire to work for them.

“I have made friends with the children. I will continue the work even after the completion of the project,” she says.

Her project, “Unite for children, unite against AIDS” is an attempt at making the youth aware of HIV/AIDS and the problems faced by the children traumatised by the disease. Aswathi will represent Coimbatore at the National finals of the Horlicks WizKid competition.

Educational Systems

Residential Schools
SSA has sanctioned seven residential schools in Thally, Shoolagiri, Kelamangalam and Uthangarai blocks for out of school children including child labourers.

Meeting with Headmasters:

The Collector is personally meet all the headmasters in blockwise meetings. During the interaction, the issues and problems are sorted out and the headmasters are motivated to make quantum leaf in the quality of education, personal hygiene, environmental cleanliness, etc., So far the Collector has met nearly 1000 headmasters in six blocks.

Shrimati Ranganayaki Ammal Nursery and Primary School

Shrimati Ranganayaki Ammal Nursery and Primary School was awarded the Coimbatore Mid-Town Rolling Trophy for having won the highest number of medals for the third consecutive year.

The medals were awarded for English and Tamil Elocution, Bharatanatyam, Folk Dances, Thirukkural recitation and fancy dress competitions. The contests were conducted by the District Sports and Welfare Association as part of their 16th Annual district level celebrations. A drawing competition was also held.

Young ambassador

 "I am both excited and nervous,” says a smiling Yash. Excited, “because I will be going to a new country which will chart my future, and nervous because the language and the climate will be different. Also, I will be away from my family and I won’t get dhal there,” he says. Yash, a resident of SOS Children’s Village in Faridabad, has just been selected to pursue his further studies after completing Std. X at one of the prestigious United World Colleges.

For those who don’t know, The United World Colleges are products of the United World College Movement founded during the Cold War.

It aims at promoting understanding between different nations through education and through interaction between young people. So far, it has got 12 international schools across the world that select students at a pre-university level on merit regardless of financial capability.

Yash has been selected to study at The United World College at Costa Rica. “Five students from across India were short-listed for an interview by the Director of The United World College at Pune some time back out of which two got selected,” relates Yash. Besides him, a youngster from the SOS Children’s Village in Bhubaneswar got selected to study at The United World College in Norway.
Getting selected

Talking about the selection interview, sitting at his home which houses his adopted siblings and a very welcoming adopted mother, whom he calls his family, Yash says, “The Director asked me how I will introduce India to a foreigner. Also, she asked me, what is the biggest global problem today? I told her, terrorism and later felt bad that I didn’t mention, global warming,” he laughs.

Yash will study at the University for two years. “I will come home only during vacations,” he says. And quite excitedly adds, “There is a senior from the SOS Children’s Village in Bangalore at the college and I am in touch with him.” And till the vacations bring him home, Internet will help him keep in touch with his dear ones. “Orkut hain na,” he says.

OPG School, Dwarka

OPG School, Dwarka, along with a self-funded non-profit organisation, Jodo Gyan, recently organised a regional workshop for teachers, which drew participation from nearly 100 primary teachers drawn from over 33 schools. The theme of the workshop was “Conducting Activities in Primary Mathematics”. The workshop featured two technical sessions, one for Nursery to Class II and another for Stds. III to V.

Thought For You

Kalam's advice to the youngsters of the nation is to "dream, dream and dream and convert these into thoughts and later into actions." Also to "think big". "We are a nation of a billion people and we must think like a nation of a billion people. Only then can we become big."

Young Envoys International

Young Envoys International, a city-based child art organisation was awarded the Golden Plaque and Diploma of Honour at the 15th Biennale of international competition in graphic art for children and youth held at Torun city, Poland. Students of Sanskriti - the art centre received awards and diplomas. Over 15,000 children from 47 countries participated.

Believing is seeing

Are you a visually challenged student? Do you think that visually impaired children cannot be self-reliant and competent? “Change your mindset. One can do wonders with an extra effort and support. This is what I learnt at the Activity-based Vacation Camp for the Visually Handicapped,” said N. Ramamoorthy, a Std. X student of Hansrover Boys H.S. School in Perambalur. “For the first time in my life, I learnt the alphabet and how to use the pen,” he sa id.

M. Parthiban, a Std. XII student of American College H.S. School, Madurai, said he used to wonder about his vision loss till he came to the camp and learnt ways to overcome the disability.

K. Sruthi of OCPM Higher Secondary School, Madurai, said that she is now confident to lead life on her own. For visually impaired children, schools teach academic content, but don’t do much about extra-curricular activities, said Capt. C.V. Narayanan, Rehabilitation Consultant. He said that physically challenged students lack social skills and communication skills because of which they live in isolation.
Better exposure

To cater to the needs of students and expose them to various co-curricular and extracurricular activities, the All India Confederation of the Blind had organised the camp, in collaboration with a Holland-based service organisation, SKN, at Indian Association for the Blind at Sundararajanpatti near Madurai.

The camp would also introduce various activities and in the course of time hone individual skills, Narayanan said. He hoped that many blind schools would follow suit in helping such students.

The organisers of the camp plan to make it an annual affair in various parts of the district to reach out to more number of students.

At the camp, the students were divided into five groups named after Louis Braille, Helen Keller, John Milton, Homer and Veera Ragavar. Each group comprised six members from 15 schools.

The students participated in various activities such as orientation and mobility science, physical education, daily living skills and etiquette, scouting, signature writing, karate, dramatics, public speaking and yoga.

The camp also included field visits to banks, post offices, railway stations and a theme park near Madurai. As many as 30 students, including 15 girls from eight districts, participated.

Muthiah Alagappa Matric H.S. School, Kottaiyur,

Muthiah Alagappa Matric H.S. School, Kottaiyur, joined hands with the Interact Club and organised a two-day mathematics mela in the school recently. Speakers stressed the need for students to update their knowledge on the subject and eq uip themselves to face challenges and solve problems in life.

As part of the mela, the school also organised competitions such as paper presentation, quiz, exhibition, elocution puzzles, mathematics game show, mental ability test and talk show.

As many as 600 students from 21 schools in Madurai, Sivaganga and Pudukkottai districts participated. AL.Annamalai, school administrator, inaugurated the programme. The principal, S. Radhakrishnan, welcomed the gathering.

Story of the inner world of the young

Mazha Nanayunna Penkutty is all about the fantasy world a girl visualises to rid herself of the loneliness and the lost joys of childhood. It is all about Aleena, and the make-belief situation she fancies herself to be in.

Mazha Nanayunna Penkutty is the first short film made by the students of the Kiraloor Aided Upper Primary School to depict how urban life can alienate people.

The students’ venture has succeeded in weaving reality and fantasy to tell the story of loneliness of childhood.

Aleena is the only child in a middle class nuclear family. Her parents have little time for her as both are employed.

The film opens with this fantasy dream of Aleena, a class VIII student.

Aleena fantasises that she has a younger sister called Anna who plays around all the time instead of concentrating on her studies. In one shot there is Anna singing loudly in a playful mood. Sensing her distraction, their mother scolds Anna and asks her to read aloud.

Annoyed, Anna murmurs something which in turn takes the viewers’ to her special and amazing world filled with a gamut of characters that spring from the books she has read like the lilies, kings, queens, buffoons, artists, butterflies and flowers.
Fun and games

The sisters have fun and tiffs too. In another scene Aleena throws Anna out of the house for teasing her. Anna runs out like a flying bird. But Anna feels sorry for her sister who confines herself to the house.

Aleena finds herself crushed and alone. One day as Aleena’s mother is about to leave for work, she realises that her daughter is not in the house.

She finds Aleena’s diary scribbled with broken sentences about Anna and also Anna’s mobile number. Mother calls that number but “it’s out of reach”. She goes to Aleena’s school and asks her friends about Anna. But there is no one called Anna there.

All of a sudden she realises every thing and understands her daughter.

Aleena is spotted near a river and she is wet in the rain. The message conveyed is that a rural school is able to keep pace with the new world. The objective is to give students an opportunity to try their hand in the making of a film. The film seeks to convey poetically the inner world of a child, first through Anna’s and then through Aleena’s fantasy world.

The Kiraloor Aided Upper Primary School is a rural school with students from the economically weaker segments.

Except for the handling of the camera and editing, the work relating to the making the film was done by the students and teachers. The script story and direction was done by Philip John who is a teacher there. It is the first time he is working on a film script too.

Exciting melange of quizzing, music and poetry

Name the book published by Albert Einstein along with Sigmund Freud? Majority of the students who participated in the quiz competition were puzzled. Titled ‘Vinquizitive2007’, young talents were quizzed questions covering all facets of knowledge including science, social science, literature, sports, fine arts, culture and current affairs.

Clever questions

Vinquizitive2007 was part of the cultural fest named ’INSIGNIA2007’ held at Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya, Thrikkakara.

Competitions under Sub-Junior (ClassVI-VII), Junior (VIII-X) and Senior (ClassXI-XII) categories were held under INSIGNIA. Teachers from Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya - Latha V. Nallur, Bindu.J and Sreejyothi.N were the respective quiz masters in the above categories. Apart from the quiz were held ’Vers(e)atality’, ’Proppe Daunce’, ’Melange’ and ’The Triathlon’.

Learning things your way

While the ceaseless debate about mark race and holistic teaching is a sure feature at any educational conference, a school has taken a new initiative to swipe the entire system of education into a student-centric learning.

At K.A.P. Viswanatham Higher Secondary School, a Tamil-cum-English medium school here, the initiative took off under the banner of The Hindu’s Young World Club.

Since its inception in 2000, the club has been an active tool in pooling the talent of students.

Under this banner, the school recently conducted a camp for “alternative education” for high school and higher secondary school students.

For two days, the blackboard lessons had to make way for the screening of documentaries and movies. On the opening day, they were told more about “Learning through educational CDs”, a session handled by the correspondent of the school, C. Kesavaraj, and “Learning through The Hindu.”

A fun-filled evening followed those sessions. A quiz programme was organised by the students.

The day that followed had talks on “Learning through an English movie”, by S. Neethi Mohan of Velammal School, Chennai, and “Learning through Language Games” by the correspondent of Sivananda Balalaya, K.G. Meenakshi, and V. Ganapathy from SPARK.
Fun on camp

Talk about the camp and the students are all keyed up. “It was good fun. The activities, happening round the year, help us build confidence level and vocabulary,” says T. Dhanasekeran from Std. X. His classmates T. Mehaboob Ali and R. Muruganantham endorse with vigorous nods.

Meanwhile, their headmaster R. Rajendran charts out ambitious plans: “Students need to know the beauty of self-learning. Teachers must act as facilitators. That is what we are trying out here. Schools must do away with classroom teaching and guide the children to unleash their creativity. The educational system cannot be changed overnight. But someone must start somewhere, right?” he asks.

Is anyone listening?

Camp for kids with hearing problems

CHENNAI: A medical camp for children below 10 years of age with hearing problems will be organised by the Departments of ENT, Head and Neck Surgery and Speech Language and Hearing Sciences of Sri Ramachandra University between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Children with either total hearing loss in both the ears or with hearing loss while using hearing aids and those who have not developed speech owing to hearing impairment may participate in the camp to be conducted at SRMC, 24, Dr.Vasudevan Nagar, Tiruvanmiyur.

Doctors will provide free comprehensive ear, nose and throat check-up and assessment of hearing impairment.

The camp will also offer counselling by speech language professionals and child psychologist. For registration, assistant professor of SRMU Gopinath may be contacted on 98414 43434.

Little Flower School, Mudinepalli

Mamidi Sai Sathwika and Bandaru Varsha of Std. II in Little Flower School, Mudinepalli in Krishna district, won first and third places respectively in the mandal-level Bhagvad Gita sloka recital contest. The girls were given cash prizes and certificates and were selected forthe district-level contest organised by the Chinmaya Mission at Kaikaluru.

A photographic memory

His memory is the envy of many. And why not too? 
Jose Lorance has a photographic memory. A class IX student of Christ Nagar School, Kowdiar, Jose can memorise over 100 words within a matter of few minutes and recollect it without mistake in the same order. It takes around 20 minutes for Jose to memorise words relating to the names of politicians, film actors and objects such as table, chair and desk. In fact Jose’s memory is so strong that he can even recall the serial number given to a particular word. To register the words in his mind he recites it twice.

“So far I have experimented with 110 words,” says Jose who is referred to as ’memory Jose’ by his friends. "My dream is to get into the Limca Book of Records," he said.

The son of A.J. Lorance, a scientist with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Jose’s unique talent was evident right from kindergarten onwards. He used to take part in memory contests regularly from U.K.G onwards. Till date he has won over 30 prizes in various competitions.

Amazing memory

Jose’s mother Mary, says, her son used to show grasping powers way beyond his age even when he was a child.

“As a two-year-old he used to memorise and recollect the various utensils used inside the kitchen," said Ms. Mary.

During studies, Jose relies on his mother to read out passages from the school text-books to him. "Reading out helps me to pick up the ideas contained in the passage quite easily,” said Jose.

Apart from words Jose also used to hone his memory skills using numbers, “but since this gave me a lot of mental strain I gave it up,” he said. Jose who dreams of becoming a computer engineer one day is already familiar with various computer applications such as power point, graphics, Linux software and Micro Soft Word.

He has also given performances on memory skills at various clubs in the city. A tenth rank holder in class, Jose favourite sportsperson is Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho.

Learning in the lab is fun

Having read about a science laboratory only in textbooks but never having seen one actually, the spacious chemistry lab of Sri Durga Malleswara Siddhartha Mahila Kalasala appeared like a wonderland for the batch of girls coming from a government school.

For the first time, the girls saw several chemicals, acids and equipment like burette and pipette, besides doing litmus tests and identifying a few salts. And, they even had their doubts cleared by the college students.

Thanks to the initiative taken by the college management to throw open, by turns, their laboratory to students of less privileged schools that have no laboratories, students of Stds. VIII, IX and X of Zilla Parishad High School for Girls at Patamata used the opportunity and grasped the subject to some extent when their turn came.

“It’s a wonderful experience. Our teacher explained us about all the equipment. Now I’m able to recollect the lessons,” said B. Himabindu, a student of Std. IX. Visiting the laboratory was a pleasant experience for her.

“It is like watching the characters of a story come alive,” said M. Vijayalakshmi, a student of Std. VIII. “I have seen salts like magnesium oxide, silver nitrate and hydrogen sulphate here,” she said, and described the spirit lamp used to heat salts and make new combinations. “We have a lesson in which we have to draw the spirit lamp. The original one is slightly different from what we draw in the classroom,” she said.

An excited J. Meerabai of Std. IX described the functioning of the sensitive balance as “just miraculous.” “We can measure salts of the weight of even 0.6 grams and 0.8 grams,” she said, with a twinkle in her eyes.

The session, clearly, turned out to be a useful one to not just the visitors but to the hosts as well.
Teaching skills

The college students, who took the pains to explain various chemical processes to the school students, averred that the session helped them sharpen their teaching skills. “I’m yet to come out of the excitement. Though I’m interested in teaching, I did not realise until now how interesting it was,” said D. Harika, a B. Sc. final year student.

“This session reminded me of my student days when we had no access to the chemistry lab.

These girls are lucky enough to visit the lab during their school days, and this visit certainly will help them during their career planning,” she said.

Her classmate H. Himabindu felt that the fact that the students raised doubts during the interaction session indicated their level of understanding.

“They have more grasping power. They are keen on learning the subject,” she said, adding: “I’m proud that I am able to clarify all their doubts.”

Head of the chemistry department S. Kalpana explained that the session was aimed at covering topics like analytical balance, varieties of salts and introduction to lab equipment.

“Many high schools do not have laboratories even though students have lessons about salts and chemicals. Unless they visit a lab, they cannot understand the subject well,” she summed up.

Jungle KISS for a Rugby Cup

Orissa’s Jungle Crows returned from London with the Rugby Crown. This Under-14 team won the Cup having put up a strong fight. 

Dauntless dozen: The victorious team.

They call themselves Jungle Crows —12 boys from the forests of Orissa, all below 14. They belong to the Santhal, Kohlo, Bonda and Bathudi tribes. Most of them are so poor that they can barely have two meals a day. However, recently, these children went to London and returned with the Under-14 Rugby World Cup.

First it was the Asian Cup for Hockey. Then, came the T20 Cricket World Cup. And now, the Jungle Crows from Orissa have won the Rugby Crown. Suddenly, Team Young India seems to be doing well on the sports field.

Honoured returned

Unlike Cricket and Hockey, Rugby is not popular in India. Yet, this dauntless dozen are the champs today. They are from the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) that caters to the tribal children of Orissa. It is a sister-concern of KIIT (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) University. What makes these boys click? “Team Leader” of KIIT, L.C. Amaranathan, who was earlier Vice Chancellor of the Sikkim Manipal University in Gangtok, says “Our boys have tremendous stamina and talent. Given them the opportunity and guidance, and the sky is the limit.”

The victorious team returned the day after Gandhi Jayanti to a tumultuous welcome. They were feted by the Governor and Chief Minister.

Captain Rajkishore Murmu (14) from Keonjhar says it all happened so fast, his boys were very nimble and played as per strategy. Ganesh Hembram (12), the baby of the team, is from Bahalda in Mayurbhanj. He’s a “scrummer”. Babula Melaka, from the Rayagada-Bissamkatak belt was the match-winner in the finals.

Coach Rudrakesh Jena is the Physical Training Instructor.

Rugby started two years ago and a team of coaches from the U.K. had come to hone their skills last September. For these Crows, the sky may be the limit.

Right now, they are flying high — and aiming higher.

Training to win

The boys started playing competitive Rugby four months ago with expert coaching from England’s Rugby Association coach Paul Walsh. On their way to London, they worsted other teams from India. Once there at the World Cup venue, they defeated teams from Zambia, Swaziland, Kenya and Romania before reaching the finals. The crowning glory came when they beat the team from formidable South Africa 19-5 in the finals. The invitation tournament was sponsored by the charitable organisation Touraid among deprived boys under 14 from 10 countries.

School away from school

MYSORE: Children of mahouts and kavadis, who have come here accompanying Dasara elephants from the the Nagarahole National Park for the “Jamboo Savari” on Vijayadashami, need not miss their classes. A tent school has been opened exclusively for them on the premises of Mysore Palace.

It is not the first time that a tent school is being opened for them. This is the third year in a row that classes will be held for them at the school, according to Block Education Officer (South) B.N. Shivarame Gowda.


“We shall ensure that the children’s temporary stay in the city will not disturb their schooling. All arrangements have been made to ensure that learning continues despite their absence from regular schools,” he said.

Drop out

It is common to see children lose interest when there is a break in schooling.

They finally drop out. Many steps have been taken to overcome the problem, including the setting up of tent schools.

“We will run the school until the children return home,” the BEO said.

Painting competition for students

MALAPPURAM: The District Information Office and the Nehru Yuva Kendra jointly organised a painting competition for school students here on Friday as part of the week-long Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations.

About 400 students from different parts of the district took part in the water colour painting competition held in association with the Chitrakala Vidyalaya, Manjeri. There were separate categories for primary, high school and higher secondary students. The winners will be declared today. The prizes include trophies, certificates, and books.

Competitions in quiz, patriotic song rendering, and elocution are being organised. Kerala Sarvodaya Mandalam State general secretary Iyyacheri Kunhikrishnan and Calicut University’s Chair for Gandhian Studies and Research visiting professor S. Radha will deliver the Gandhi memorial speech.

Kids fight for an ideal world

The Indian Model United Nations (INMUN), held here Oct 4-6, saw participants from six countries - Indonesia, Bahrain, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India - thrash out global issues level headedly.

The INMUN, organised by Ryan International School, is an attempt at training the young leaders to take the path of dialogue to resolve conflicts instead of choosing violent means.

Grace Pinto, managing director of Ryan International group of institutions, called it an opportunity for children to become aware of everyday issues and of matters affecting the world at large.

'These are our leaders for tomorrow. This is an ideal opportunity for the children to become sensitised to global issues.

'In all the committees, they have taken the lead, they are discussing and passing resolutions. They are making mistakes but let them. That's how they will learn,' Pinto told IANS.

INMUN functions through seven committees - the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Disarmament and International Security Committee, Economic and Financial Issues Committee, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues Committee along with Human Rights Commission and Environment Commission.

The IUMN, in its seventh session, is in its secretary general Gunjan Chawla's words, like a 'political science class in practical'.

'This is an ideal world. The students from across 110 schools are representing 110 countries and discussing foreign policies, human rights laws, international security et al.

'They are discussing, arguing and more often than not, are passing unanimous resolutions. In reality, we know that hardly happens,' 16-year-old Chawla said.

At the end of the INMUN, the students go back to their homes but the motive of inculcating a sense of responsibility and awareness doesn't end there.

'Four years back, we started this 'each one plant one' campaign, which all the participating schools are a part of. For this, we adopt parks and areas where the plants are planted.

'Then we also have campaigns on educating the girl child and on AIDS whereby children present plays in vernacular languages in rural areas,' Pinto said.

The best delegate and best delegation will get awards, to be presented by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh.

India’s school children taught by Kangaroo Kids

With India’s education system undergoing change, Melbourne-based company Kangaroo Kids has become an integral part of the revamp, recently opening seven new High Schools in Mumbai in addition to the 35 Preschools already operating in 12 cities across India.

The company’s proprietor and director Lina Ashar established Kangaroo Kids in 1993.

The first preschool was set up in Bandra, Mumbai with an initial capacity of 25 students. By 1994 the school was running two shifts and had a capacity of 125 students. The popularity of the school and its concepts encouraged Ms Ashar to explore the possibilities of expanding and opening new branches.

The parent company Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd provides services to Kangaroo Kids Preschools and Billabong High Schools (Playschool – Year 8 and going up each year to Year 12).

Ms Ashar said their schools are helping India keep pace with a contemporary, rapidly globalising world.

“We structure Kangaroo Kids schools to produce thinkers, innovators and problem solvers - skills that India’s society fosters and values,” Ms Ashar said.

“We have a team of over 75 skilled and experienced educationists who design, develop and provide curricula to schools based on current educational research and pedagogy. Our support teams provide quality guidance, ‘in-service’ training, assistance for specific needs and long term support needed to ensure schools maintain high quality standards and adhere to best practices as accepted internationally.”

Kangaroo Kids has undergone tremendous expansion over the past two years and Austrade Mumbai has provided promotional support.

“Austrade has attended all the school openings, end of year functions, concerts and pushed our causes with key Indian State Government officials, minimising the red tape,” she said.

“Kangaroo Kids was also featured in Austrade’s Bombay Boomerang newsletter which gave us more of a profile in the foreign community. Now dozens of diplomat and business peoples children attend the schools too.”

Ms Ashar said it takes between six to nine months from the time a franchise agreement is signed to get one of their schools operating.

“Once a school signs a franchise agreement, we provide a complete brief of the Kangaroo Kids – Billabong philosophy, including curricula, training for centre supervisors and teachers, guidance in selecting the right type of personnel, support for handling curriculum related queries, guidance and assistance for centre specific problems and assistance in creating the interiors and layout of the centre in accordance with Kangaroo Kids standards,” she said.

“We make the programs enjoyable. For example, while studying about a literature unit; “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, students study about the history of chocolate, who’s who in chocolate, and also hone their entrepreneurial skills by actually conducting surveys of chocolates available in the market, pricing, supply and demand, marketing strategies, manufacture and sales of chocolates. Each study unit spans approximately eight weeks,” Ms Ashar said.


The eighth edition of The Hindu Young World Quiz – 07 will be rolled out on October 27 from Puducherry, to climax at the national finals in Visakhapatnam on November 21. This annual multi-city quiz contest, which has been eagerly looked forward to by school children all over the country, will be conducted at 13 centres. At each centre, there will be a written preliminary round to select the six teams for the regional finals, with both the rounds to be held on the same day. The winning team from each region will be eligible to participate in the grand all-India final to be held this year in Visakhapatnam. The Hindu will meet the cost of the travel, boarding, and lodging of the teams and for one accompanying parent or teacher fromtheother centres for the final in Visakhapatnam. The contest is open this year for students from classes six to nine.

Any two students can form a team and each school can send in a maximum of three teams, using the Entry Cards sent to them.

The schools should complete their entries and send it to the local regional office of The Hindu within the specified dates.

The Young World quiz will be conducted at the following Centres: Puducherry, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Madurai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. There are three prizes at the regional level and three at the all-India final.

The regional winners will bag Rs.8,000/- as the first prize, Rs.6,000/- for the second and Rs.4,000/- for the third.

At the national level, the prize money gets doubled.

In addition, there will be plenty of other prizes in cash and kind for participants and the audience too.

Amity University will be the title sponsor for the 2007 edition of the contest.

Tara Talcum powder and Lotte Booproo are the associate sponsors. The national sponsors are GM Pens, Penguin, Encyclopaedia Britannica, State Bank of Travancore, Cycle Brand agarbathis, Vizag Steel Plant, Tourism Malaysia, and The beverage sponsor is Dabur-Real Mango. ‘Quizwalahs,’ are the event managers.

Further details:

Another day….another world record

Last month, Indians set 3 Guinness world records .

This week, India got yet another world record when 10 year old Master Kishan became the youngest film director in the world overtaking a 13 year old boy from New Zealand.

12img21.jpg Not only has Kishan directed the film, he’s also written the story which revolves around a slum boy, who, along with his friends, creates a revolution in the field of education with the help of some benefactors.

Kishan is not deterred by his age, saying he does not find it difficult to get work done from actors and technicians more than twice his age.

    “They listen to me, so I don’t find it difficult to run the show on the sets. They treat me like any other director”

Jackie Shroff a veteran Hindi film actor who is acting in Kishan’s first movie Footpath says

    “He is such a genius that I had to work in his film. He is constantly thinking about his next shot, constantly innovating to make it better. He is only nine years old, but he is sure about what he wants from his actors.”

Kishan has dedicated this movie to all the underprivileged children of the world

Kudos Kishan and keep it up !

Innovations from thoughtful minds

The strong urge to do something to change the state of affairs for the better is what differentiates some people from the others. And this is exactly what two brothers from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Cochin Port Trust - Shameer S Hameed of standard VIII and his brother Shahid S Hameed of standard X did. They had to cross a railway line to reach their house from school and had to tread around human excreta littered on the tracks from train toilets. They highlighted the issue to th e school’s science teacher Ajith S R, who often holds sessions with the students to identify the problems that they face. The brothers also mooted a solution based on inputs suggested by Mr Ajith to modify the toilets of Indian trains that are notorious for directly discharging untreated waste onto the tracks.

Winning idea

Two other students Nithesh Prabhu and Deepthi Murali too joined in the endeavour. Their idea of collecting the waste in underground tanks and later treating them for use in bio-gas plants, won the first prize at the national-level science exhibition 2007-’08, organised by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. The theme was water management. The team will represent KVS at the Jawaharlal Nehru Science Exhibition organised by the NCERT.

“Apart from people having to bear the repulsive sight and smell, the seemingly innocent action of the Indian Railways has led to contamination of land, waterbodies and fields on either side of the tracks,” says Shameer.

The germs from human waste find their way into food and water. A passenger who is sick can potentially spread his disease over a wide area. Discharge of untreated toilet waste also corrodes the rails and its fastenings. The students have proudly displayed a working model of the modified toilet, at the science lab of their school. “Apart from making good use of the waste materials by treating them and using them as the energy source in kitchens, we wanted to ensure that the water is recycled and pumped back into the flush tanks of train toilets,” says Shameer.


The students have mooted a retention tank each beneath the two toilets on either side of the train compartment. As the train reaches a railway station which has a biogas plant, the stored waste material (along with water) is pumped into the digestor tank of the plant. The water is separated, filtered and treated chemically using phenol and chlorine. It is then passed through charcoal, so that the charcoal sucks a good portion of chemicals, the odour and other toxic materials in water.

This water is re-circulated to the train’s overhead tank which supplies water to the toilet flush. The solid waste becomes fuel for the biogas plants that power hearths in canteens of major railway stations.

Their science teacher Ajith says that this is just one of the novel products that students of the school have made. A mechanical table, using which a person who has lost his hands can take food and a low-cost solar water heater are among the other innovations. The school’s vice-principal, Philomena Mechery, could not hide her joy at the team becoming national toppers at the Kendriya Vidyalaya level. “Ours is among the few schools that are focussed on encouraging students to come out with such innovations,” she said.

Young World Quiz


1. Name the American writer, known for his horror novels and author of The Green Mile and The Dark Tower series, celebrating his birthday today.

2. How does one better know the hip hop singer William James Adams Jr.?

3. For which European nation has Rahul Dravid played some inivitational matches?

4. For what sporting record was Rieti in Italy in the news on September 9?

5. In botany, what is the common term given to embryophytes that are non-vascular?

6. Which Tolkien character’s parents’ first names were Bungo and Belladonna?

7. Which element makes up most of the metal alloy Pewter?

8. In which famous museum is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” permanently displayed?

9. Which common stationery item generally comes in triangular, hexagonal or round shape?

10. In linguistics, what are ‘heteronyms’?

11. Who was the last player before Roger Federer to win four straight U.S. championships?

12. Which is the lightest chemical element with no stable isotope?

13. Who holds the Guinness record for being the first entertainer to earn more than $100 million in a year and the highest paid entertainer of all time?

14. Who wrote the evergreen poem “Lochinvar”?

15. Which Pokémon character is called Hitokage in the original Japanese language version?


1. Stephen King
2. will. i. am, the frontman of Black Eyed Peas
3. Scotland
4. Asafa Powell set a new world record for the men’s 100m with a time of 9.74 seconds
5. Bryophytes
6. Bilbo Baggins
7. Tin
8. Rijks museum Amsterdam
9. Pencils
10. Homonyms that share the same spelling but have different pronunciations
11. Bill Tilden
12. Technetium
13. Michael Jackson
14. Sir Walter Scott
15. Charmander

Samvida Vidya Peeth

D. Naga Mallesh, a student of Samvida Vidya Peeth in Poranki secured second place in the table vault and third place in the high bar events in the sub-juniors’ category of the All India Sai Inter Regional Gymnastics Championship held at Aurangabad.

Student bags award

VISAKHAPATNAM: K. Meher Kumar has bagged the first prize at the district-level painting competition organised in connection with the Police Commemoration Week celebrations.

An Intermediate student of Narayana College, he also bagged the second prize in cartoon competition held on the occasion. CMD of VSP P.K. Bishnoi handed over the awards to him

Young World painting contest is back

Mysore: Here is a competition that must not be missed — especially if you are between classes IV and X, and with an artistic bent of mind. The Hindu’s annual Young World Painting Competition is back in your city, and it is tailor-made to bring out and showcase artistic talent among children.

All you have to do is to draw or paint your composition on a white drawing sheet (26 cm by 27 cm). You have a choice of four topics. Juniors (class IV to VII) can choose one of the following topics: You and your computer; At the swimming pool; Visit to the flower garden; Kite-flying at the beach. Seniors (class VIII to X) can choose between Boat ride in a river; Train crossing a bridge; Inside a harbour; Helping the handicapped.

Get the artwork certified by your Principal or Art teacher as your own work (with your name, age, class, school and residential addresses). Send your entries with two BooProo Liquid Bubble Gum wrappers to the address given below:

Circulation Department, The Hindu, No 868/1 Sriranga Complex, 1st floor, M.G. Road, N.S Road Junction, Siddappa Square, Chamaraja Mohalla, Mysore – 570 004

The entries should reach us before November 1. Students selected for the finals will be informed individually.