The Telegraph
Saturday , August 4 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Student take on parental care

- 18 take part in debate, St Xavier’s adjudged winner

It was not merely a war of words, but rather a thought-provoking face-off that helped show the other side of Ranchi’s teens.

Eighteen students from nine capital-based schools on Friday passionately debated on the topic “Children should provide room and board for their ageing parents” at International Library and Cultural Centre. All participants impressed but it was finally a girl from St Xavier’s School, Shivani Priyam Kumar, who floored the judges with her oratorical skills while speaking for the motion and walked away with the first prize.

“It is because of our parents’ love, support and care that we are surviving. They are the ones who provided us with proper shelter, good food and clothes to wear. So how can we leave them when they need us? Isn’t it our moral duty to keep supporting them when they get old?” Shivani argued.

Shivani’s thoughts found an echo in Saloni Kumari’s words. The Oxford Public School student was declared the second best speaker by the three-judge panel of Rekha Mishra, Prakriti Jairath and V. Pankaj — all noted academics.

“Indian culture teaches us to put our parents before God and respect them. They spend sleepless nights by our beds when we are sick. Is it not right that we do the same when they are old and sick?” she asked the packed library.

Saloni’s classmate Nischay Keshri, however, offered a slightly different view, for which she bagged the third prize. She said that the children should of course care for their parents. But the parents, in turn, should not financially depend on their wards as priorities of children change once they grow up.

Apart from Oxford Public School and St Xavier’s, the other cradles that took part in the event were Sapphire International School, Firayalal Public School, Cambrian Public School, Bishop’s School, Bridgeford School, Gurunanak Higher Secondary School and Surendranath Centenary School.

While the winner and runners-up received certificates and trophies, the other participants — two from each school — were awarded certificates of participation.

Deputy managing director of International Library and Cultural Centre Jyoti Bajaj said the debate was meant to encourage school students to come forward and air their views on various topics.