Children perform at the annual concert of St. Stephen’s School. (Arnab Mondal)
The day after the invitation cards for the annual concert of St. Stephen’s School, Bowbazar, were distributed, Class VII student Meher Sultana had a request for the headmistress — she wanted another pass so that her grandparents could see her perform.
Meher’s grandparents were among the 1,000-plus people who turned up at Mahajati Sadan on December 12 to watch the students put up a colourful medley of dance — from Rabindranritya to hip-hop. Students of the middle and high school presented a skit on Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, while kids from the nursery section created a festive mood with Jingle Bells.
The two-hour programme, titled Colours of Rainbow, saw 500 students performing.
“These children have a lot of talent in them and we wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase that and they practised hard. We have had concerts before, but this year we did it on a large scale and the response from their guardians was overwhelming,” said Imran Zaki, the honorary secretary of the school.
The school affiliated to National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) completed 10 years.
The chief guest, Anindita Banerjee Tamta, a member of the West Bengal Social Welfare Board, spoke about the need for schools that provide opportunities to children from a less privileged background.
“Education is the key to all problems and it is our right. We require schools like St. Stephen’s, else some of our children get lost in the big schools,” she said.
Zaki spoke about the four pillars that make a school — “management, teacher, children and parents”.
Splash, a sit-and-draw competition for kids with disability, was held at La Martiniere for Girls in December. Around 30 children from various NGOs took part in the event, a Concern India initiative.
A series of awareness sessions conducted by Trinayani at two Cafe Coffee Day outlets in the city in December saw sign language experts engaging guests in informal chats to increase knowledge on disability-related issues.
Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty conducted an interactive session at Don Bosco, Park Circus, for the school’s platinum jubilee celebrations. “My name means
‘messenger’ but I didn’t have a message for the students. Meeting youngsters enriches me. Now such a big deal is made of the fact that I studied with kerosene lamps...I was inspired by Abraham Lincoln, who studied under streetlights. If my stories help youth even a little, I feel I’ve done my duty,” he said.