The grand finale of the Debating Matters India was held at the British Council Delhi from November 17-19.
Our team from Our Lady Queen of the Missions School represented the east and the most dominant sentiment on our flight to Delhi was anxiety. We had a rush of adrenaline when we reached the British Council Delhi, all armoured in our school uniforms. There were teams from all over the country — Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad and, of course, Calcutta.
The first day was spent in attending expert witness seminars where mock debates were held between two experts from their respective fields. The evening hosted the star event, battle for democracy which boasted of panelists like Kiran Bedi, columnist Jug Suraiya and associate fellow of Institute of Ideas, Dolan Cummings. The panellists answered questions on what went wrong with democracy in India and what could be done to make amends. The panellists and chairpersons appreciated my questions.
The following day was a whirlwind of debates where Arushi Dhupia and I went in for the preliminary round on “Compulsory acquisition of land can only be justified for strictly public purposes”. The round based on judges' questions proved to be most beneficial as it helped us to improve on our content and style. Fortunately, we cleared the first hurdle winning against Prakash H.S. School, Ahmedabad, to qualify for the semi-finals where the onus now lay on Harshita Kaul and Tania Chattopadhyay, our representatives in the semi-finals. The second day ended with a Question Hour session where students were given a chance to ask questions to a team of panellists on such pressing issues as education, politics, global economy and environment.
The last day of our stay in Delhi saw Kaul and Chattopadhyay taking us to the finals with their perseverance and strength of argument on the topic “voluntary active euthanasia should be legalised in India” in the semi-finals where they beat Shri Sankara H.S. School (Chennai). In the last round, we went on to the battlefield with hope in our hearts. In the end we emerged as victors after a three-day grilling competition. It was a neck to neck fight in the finals against our opponents Christ Junior College (Bangalore) on the issue “India should strive for soft power, not super power”. The judges remarked that our team won because of the sheer depth of our content and the calm and composed disposition that we displayed on stage. I also received a mention for my individual contribution to the competition as a speaker. The team is happy to have made our school and the city proud.
We hope to keep up the winning streak at London next year where we will be pitted against the winners of Debating Matters UK.
student and debate captain,
Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Calcutta
Be a rockstar
Fury banged on the foot drum. Metals screeched on the feedback. Fingers blared on distorted strings. And vocals growled on the open mike. Students from different schools in Delhi and NCR set the stage of Recess 2011 by Childreach International India on blaze. The theme was “Symphony for harmony” dedicated to children who have been victims of heartless violence, terrorist activities and other such social evils. The evening started off with welcome address by students, followed by Himachali folk dance. Then the competition between the school bands ensued. All the songs were composed and sang by the students.
The schools that participated in this event were Rukmini Devi School, Sadhu Vasvani International, Excelsior American School, DLF Public Schools, DPS Panipat, Montfort Senior Secondary School, Sri Venkateshwar School, Laxman Public School, Bloom Public School. The students of Bloom Public School emerged winners.
The event was a learning experience for the students, as the main motive of the event was to create awareness about the social evils in the society.
Sonam Ray, Class IV,
Sri Venkateshwar International School
NSHM Knowledge Campus and Aisec jointly hosted Global Village 2011 — an international congress of youth at the NSHM’S campus recently. Students from countries such as Ghana, Poland, Brazil, Romania participated in various activities such as song and dance with the Indian students.
The day’s events took off with a rhythmic Polish group dance. A student from Ghana talked about his country’s history and mineral wealth. Students from Brazil enlivened the evening with a traditional group dance and also put on display trinkets and sweets made from fruits. A Romanian student helped acquaint us with some traits of her country. We showcased a traditional Indian dance accompanied by Saraswati Vandana.
Besides students from various schools and colleges of India, the milieu saw a great number of academics, government officials, corporates and professionals.
The highlight of the one-day event was the launch of the Think Green initiative by NSHM Knowledge Campus with the students pledging to spread awareness of some of the pressing environmental issues and concerns faced by the society at the local and global levels.
Shayan Banerjee, third year,
BCA, NSHM Knowledge Campus
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