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Fest draws young guns

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 18: Suravi-2012, the annual state-level children’s festival, concluded here on Saturday with chief minister Naveen Patnaik giving away awards and certificates to the winners of different events held during the four-day event.

“The state government has initiated several measures to ensure that students learn better. We are also taking steps for more teacher training programmes,” said Naveen, addressing the crowd gathered at the valedictory.

The Sishu Mahotsav or children’s festival, organised at the Unit-IX Boys’ High School by the state school and mass education department, saw around 600 students taking part in various events from primary and secondary schools. They were accompanied to the venue by their teachers.

During this festival, a mock parliament had been organised where around 48 students acting as members of the Parliament held various interesting sessions. Trained by four “guides” from the Assembly, the students made the programme an appealing one.

The sessions included young leaders taking oath and paying tributes to the departed leaders, followed by a two-minute silence. Introduction of new ministers and the question hour followed.

The “ruling party” and the “Opposition” discussed interesting issues such as the Right to Education Act, per capita expenditure per student in the government schools and the steps taken by the state government in dealing with the dengue menace.

The students also got a chance to indulge in singing, dancing, creative writing, debating, quizzing, making sand arts, pottery, organising mock parliament and visiting various heritage sites of the city. The participants were prodded to come up with suggestions to improve their school environment under the Ama Vidyalaya (Our School) programme.

The festival had started on November 14, coinciding with the Children’s Day celebrations. A marathon cycle rally on the following day marked the beginning of the different workshops and competitions. Sportsperson Anuradha Biswal, film-maker and actor Sarat Pujari, sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik, and educationist Narendra Prasad Das had been roped in for various workshops. Another weeklong Sishu Mela or Children’s Festival Week, involving school-going, non-school going children and child labourers, concluded in the city today.