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Tribute to fighters with Tagore poems

Rabindra Jayanti celebrations to be in the form of video and image slides in Modern High School for Girls this time
A painting by a Modern High School for Girls’ student

Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 08.05.20, 12:16 AM

Students of a city school have planned a programme with Rabindranath Tagore’s poems and songs to pay tribute to frontline Covid workers on the occasion of Tagore’s birth anniversary on Friday.

Rabindra Jayanti celebrations are part of the Modern High School for Girls’ annual calendar but this time the programme will be in the form of video and image slides with the theme “Ora Kaaj Kore” (They Toil) by Tagore. The programme will be uploaded on the school’s website by Friday.

“To show that their services are indispensable and to ensure a better future for them, we turn to Tagore for inspiration.... Celebrating the birth anniversary of India’s most relevant and timeless icon, we recognise the sacrifices of those who work for us, while simultaneously being aware of the position of privilege we occupy,” reads the introduction based on the poem. “With no surety of how long this crisis will continue, we must make judicious use of the time to cast aside our lenses of privilege and stand as a country united.”

The programme has been divided into two parts — one is the art display where the girls have drawn images of doctors, nurses, caregivers, vendors and migrant labourers in black and white and in Sahaj Path style.

The second is recitations, songs and dances researched from Tagore’s vast collection to link it to the theme.

“Students have drawn inspiration from Tagore’s work and he has written so much, which is relevant in the current times. It is a tribute to those working on the frontline through Tagore’s spirit. There is also a message of hope,” director Devi Kar said.

Students from Classes II-XII have been working from their homes, coordinating with each other while being guided by their teachers to put the programme together.

Online platforms have helped them collaborate, choreograph and learn from their teachers, edit and also to arrange. “The children are in their homes not able to move out…. This gives them an opportunity to express themselves,” teacher Somali Mitra, the co-curricular coordinator, said.

The junior school girls will recite Tagore’s poems and some of the senior girls will dance to “Nibiro ghono andhare jwoliche dhurbotara”, with which the online production will end to send across a message of hope and looking beyond.

“We told them that the current times are a page in history and they have to document it,” Chitralekha De Bakshi, the political science teacher who coordinated the art portion, said.

“There are many on the frontline, fighting the coronavirus so that we can stay at home. I have always participated in school productions but this is the first time we realised we can work together as a team despite being kilometers apart , disagree, and reach a consensus to put up a production,” Pratyusha Chakrabarti, a Class XII student, said.

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