|The members of the ALMA executive committee at the birthday celebrations.
Around 800 children made St. Xavier’s College their home for one day on February 24. Children in the six-14 age group turned up from seven villages (Nurshikdarchowk, Gostomath, Debipur, Shalpukur, Gurap, Bholakhali and Paikhala) and four institutions (Bodhona, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Snegam and St. Xavier’s Evening School or Titli) to attend the annual St. Xavier’s College-NSS (National Service Scheme) event, Shishu Mela, on the college grounds.
Throughout the year Xaverians visit these villages to teach children and this has helped develop a special relationship. So, on this day of fun and laughter, the kids didn’t hesitate to dance or sing once lunch was over. They were given goodie bags containing stationery items and food. Seventeen departments of the college arranged stalls where children could participate in various events and win prizes. And all this took place under the watchful eyes of 200 volunteers.
In his inaugural speech, Father Felix Raj, the principal of St. Xavier’s College, said: “I want to thank the NSS of our college for keeping the spirit of service alive.” He also appreciated the effort put in by the students. After a song-and-dance ceremony performed by XADAM (Xaverian Academy for Dance and Music) students, the children were free to visit the game stalls and participate in athletic events.
As the day came to a close, everyone realised what a difference a Sunday can make to the lives of these children. The NSS truly lived up to its motto –– “Not me, but you”.
“Still teaching, Ma’am?” asked Moulishree Dhoot and pat came the reply, “Of course, very much,” said Tapati Roy, mathematics teacher in the senior section of La Martiniere for Girls.
“She still has the same vigour and energy I saw 13 years ago when I passed out from LMG. I discussed how different Class X and Class XII mathematics was. I have very fond memories of the school,” said Moulishree who currently works for an insurance company.
The 178th Foundation Anniversary of La Martiniere Schools was celebrated by Association of La Martiniere Alumni (ALMA) on March 1 at La Martiniere for Boys with former principals like Vimla Subaiya and Donald Alney, La Martiniere for Girls principal Lorraine Mirza, teachers and students turning up to walk down memory lane.
“This is a very special occasion. We are thankful to the principals and the board of governors of La Martiniere that this time we got an opportunity to celebrate within the school premises,” said Jayajit Biswas, vice-president of ALMA.