Recipients of The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence 2013 at the Science City auditorium on Saturday. Two schools were adjudged The Telegraph School of the Year — La Martiniere for Girls and MC Kejriwal Vidyapeeth. “It is because of the girls that we have won an award and we hope La Martiniere will keep providing them with opportunities,” said Lorraine Mirza, the principal of La Martiniere for Girls, which won the award after five years. The boys of MCKV, who won the award for the first time, felt their hard work had brought them to the Science City stage. “The MC Kejriwal flag will keep flying high,” smiled owner Kishan Kejriwal. Pictures by Rashbehari Das and Anindya Shankar Ray
Doctors Madhuri (left) and Biswarup Chatterjee received The Abhirup Bhadra Memorial “Thank You Baba-Ma” Award. Their son Abhiroop (centre), a Class VI student of South City International School, was detected with muscular dystrophy when he was four. But that doesn’t stop this wildlife and astronomy buff from attending school every day and doing well. Abhiroop was awarded The Surrendra Paul Memorial Award for Courage on Saturday.
Rosy Das, of Class III, Rishi Aurobindo Memorial Academy, received The Surrendra Paul Memorial Award for Courage for outstanding achievement in sports (track and field) despite being born with one hand. Rosy and her mother were abandoned by her father after her birth and mother Chandra, a beautician, brings her up single-handedly. Rosy received the award from Sabita Das, the mother of 2013 Everest summiteer Tusi Das.
“Making waves in chess”, Sayantan Das of Scottish Church Collegiate School was the winner of The Parle-G Award for Excellence in Sports, presented by
B. Krishna Rao, group product manager, Parle Products. “We are proud to be associated with The Telegraph for such an honourable cause,” Rao said.
Avijit Deb, trustee of The Telegraph Education Foundation, presented The D.D. Purkayastha Scholarship to Class XI students Sanoyar Hossain (top), who scored 92.3 per cent in Madhyamik, and Mandira Samaddar (above), who scored 93.8 per cent. Sanoyar lives in North 24-Parganas and sells brooms made by his father for a living. “I don’t have to go to the market always. I do get enough time to study,” said the aspiring engineer. Mandira cycles over 2km to reach school. “My father, who is a carpenter, struggles every day to get me educated. I have to fulfil his dream,” she said.
Piyali Learning Centre, a school started by Deepa Willingham in 2003, received The Addlife Caring Minds Award for “A School That Cares” from Minu Budhia. “The school, which was started with just 20 students, now has 220 girls,” smiled Kristine Pedersen (centre), the UCLA-educated director of the centre.
Samit Ray, chairman, Adamas International School and The Rice Group, presented scholarships to the performers of Leto, Dhak-Dhol and Natua. “I was fortunate to have been in the midst of real achievers who have overcome challenges and hardships. I am proud to be associated with such an initiative that will go a long way in encouraging our next generation,” he said.
Former schoolteacher Prabal Kanti Hazra, 68, of Khejuri, East Midnapore, won The Radhashyam Roy Memorial Award for his work in rural development. He received the award from S.K. Roy, MD, The Peerless General Finance & Investment Company and director, Peerless Developers. “This award is in memory of our founder, Shri Radhashyam Roy, who started his career as a schoolteacher in Narayanganj, now in Bangladesh,” said Roy.
The theme for the awards ceremony was performing arts and the day opened with Raybeshe (left), where Sakti Douli and his team of 15 from Purulia performed daredevil balancing acts on bamboo poles.
Later, Sulekha Roy and her group from Jalpaiguri district brought alive on stage the art form Bhawaia Bairati. The group was awarded a scholarship. Sulekha, who has been fighting poverty to carry on this art form (left), said she never thought till today that “art could also get her a scholarship”.
“This is an appeal to all educators, principals and teachers to let us integrate performing arts, music, dance, painting, sculpture and theatre into our school curriculum,” said awards convener Barry O’ Brien.
Text by Jhinuk Mazumdar and Malancha Dasgupta