SHIMLA- What are the critical issues that urban youth of Himachal Pradesh is facing in today’s modernized world: delinquent behaviour, substance abuse, academic stress, and depression due to growing competition that often leads to suicidal attempts or suicides. The fact that substance abuse among Himachal’s youngsters has reached an alarming level isn’t a secret. The age of exploration for such subjects has dropped for school students. Himachal’s urban environment isn’t difference and children are taking a hit due it. Another loss that children face today is of sensitivity to moral and ethical values. The virtues of compassion and empathy hardly find any place in the academic race.
Keeping in mind all these issues, स्वAWAAZ, a Delhi based organisation, has initiated a unique competition for schools in and around Shimla. The initiative called Project Beyond is taken in association with Rotary Club Shimla Midtown. This is an inter-school competition to encourage social responsibility and community engagement in students. The participating school teams will include students of sixth to tenth standard. The teams will be required to plan and implement a social project on the competition theme ‘Kindness Matters’.
About 200 schools including both private and government schools in Shimla and Solan districts have been invited to participate in Project Beyond. The last date of registration is May 12, 2017. Schools have been provided with detailed guidelines and rules of the competition. Schools have about 45-50 days starting from May 1 till June 20 to plan and implement a social initiative on ‘Kindness Matters’, the theme of the competition.
A submission form along with supporting evidence in the form of either a write-up with photographs, a powerpoint presentation or a short video has to be submitted by schools till June 20. The best social initiatives will be awarded, the award ceremony for which will be held in July, 2017.
The organization and Rotary team are offering continuous support during the entire duration of the competition. Schools will soon have an online portal through which the teams will be able to regularly communicate and interact with the participating schools.
स्वAWAAZ believes that the focus in schools should shift from mere academics and marks-oriented learning to holistic development of students that will help in curbing these pressing issues.
As per the founders of the organization, the Project Beyond was evolved with the aim to enable a culture in schools and community that creates more thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, change-makers who are responsible and perceptible individuals. The goal of Project Beyond is to create a thoughtful society by fulfilling key objectives like cultivating an environment of kindness, gratitude, empathy and respect, spreading social awareness through student-led social initiatives and enabling schools, teachers and students to be agents of change.
Recently, स्वAWAAZin association with Rotary Club Shimla Midtown, organised a seminar for school principals and teachers on ‘Impact of Innovative and Reflective Practices in Schools’. This was held on April 5, 2017 at Rotary Town Hall, The Mall, Shimla. Sh. Ghanshyam Chand (H.A.S.), State Project Director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh, was the Chief Guest. Over 45 delegates comprising school principals and senior teachers from several schools in and around Shimla attended the seminar.
The main purpose of the seminar was to orient schools about the need and impact of adopting innovative and reflective practices for holistic development of students. ‘Project Beyond’ was also introduced at the seminar.
स्वAWAAZ, founded by experienced professionals, who works with varied types of schools across India. Their work involves school enrichment programs, teacher training and development, student workshops, child safety in schools, youth and community engagement programs.
Internationally famed Indian violinist Johar Ali Khan performs at KV Jakhoo Hills, Shimla
Shimla: The students and staff of Kendriya Vidyalaya Jakhoo Hills, Shimla, today, received an opportunity to watch the internationally famed Indian classical violinist Ustad Jauhar Ali Khan performing live. The occasion was an event organized by the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youngster (SPIC MACY) – a non-profit organization formed in 1977 by Dr Kiran Seth with an aim to promote classical music.
After 40 years of journey, the SPIC MACY is a movement to reckon with that has done a pioneer work in the promotion of not only Indian classical music but also in promotion of classical dance, folk music, yoga, meditation etc. at national and international level.
Khan is the elder son of late Gohar Ali Khan – the legendary artist of the traditional Patiala and Rampur ‘Gharaana’ (family).
In a duet with Indian ‘Tabala Vadak’, Amir Khan, Ustad Khan offered glimpses of rich and incredibly diverse Indian music of various states. It was followed by a session of ‘Sufi’ music performance.
The artist also interacted with the teachers and the students regarding their knowledge about the Indian music. He appreciated the students of the school for their keen interest in music and encouraged them to pursue and promote what actually belongs to them – the Indian classical music and cultural heritage.
You should make music an integral part of your life and carry it forward to the coming generations,
he told the students after the performance.
The artist concluded the event with the performance of a patriotic song.
The Principal of the school honoured the artist by presenting him a traditional cap of Himachal.
The staff and students are very fortunate to have received this opportunity to watch such a renowned Indian artist perform at their school,
said the Principal in the concluding speech.
The Principal also expressed gratitude towards the SPIC MACY for the organization of such a harmonious event.
HPU’s disabled students demand stay on M.Phil, Ph.D entrance exam results
Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh University has scheduled the counseling for M.Phil for October 27, 2017. However, the disabled students, who had been demanding implementation of the reservation from some time, have opposed the move.
The Disabled Students Association (DSA) has written to the Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat and urged him to immediately prohibit the HPU of declaring the M.Phil and Ph.D entrance exams results.
Earlier, a delegation of the Association had met the Vice-Chancellor in September this year and submitted a memorandum demanding reservation of seats in MPhil and PhD under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016.
However, it did not brought any relief to them.
Today, the distressed members of the association alleged the university of not implementing the five percent reservation quota provided under the new disability law despite the directions passed by the State High Court.
After the court passed its orders this August, the university implemented the provisions of the new Act and gave admission to the disabled students in M.A. and B.Ed courses.
However, the university is following the decades-old roster system while conducting admission in M.Phil and P.hD, which is contrary to law.
The DSA convener Mukesh Kumar wrote a letter to the Governor saying that it would attract the contempt of court if the disabled students are not accommodated in M.Phil and Ph.D as per the orders of the court.
The new disability law was supposed to be implemented across the country from April 19, 2017. When the university did not follow the Act, one of the blind students, Indu Kumari of Chamba, wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court, which was treated as a PIL
Thereafter, keeping in view the strict directions of the court, the university was compelled to enroll the disabled students in the PG classes, but is still reluctant to amend the old roster system for research classes.
The matter is listed in the High Court for hearing on 31st October, said the DSA.
Court compels HPU to implement 5% reservation quota for disabled students
The varsity had to deliver what it owed to these students. Now, the students have also been provided with hostel facility.
Shimla: A visually impaired girl of Himachal Pradesh knocked the doors of the State High Court in June this year after the HP University denied her admission in the post-graduate course despite provision for five percent reservation.
Indu Kumari was not the only one to face the apathy of the varsity administration. There were other disabled students like Ravinder Thakur, Jitender Kumar, and Vijay Kumar, who had paved their way upto college despite their disability but were sent back by the varsity.
The disabled students had to form the Disabled Students Association (DSA) to highlight the fact that hundreds of disabled students are being denied education in the state.
Apparently, the court pulled up the state government and the varsity and asked them to clarify why they failed to implement the new guidelines of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
As a result of this struggle and the directions of the court, the varsity had to deliver what it owed to these students. Now, the students have also been provided with hostel facility. Though the varsity had to do it unwillingly, still it has become the first state university in the northern India to reserve 5 percent quota in higher education to disabled students.
The division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel had directed the University to enroll the petitioner and consider the similar cases of some other students for admission and hostel facility.
The bench also directed the state government to implement the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure complete and proper implementation of the provisions of the Act. It is an obligation, coupled with duty, cast upon the government to ensure compliance of the statuary provisions,
the High Court had observed while hearing the PIL.
Ajai Shrivastava, faculty member and the additional charge of nodal officer (disability affairs) at HPU, expressed satisfaction and said that now more and more disabled students would get opportunity access higher studies.
Ajai Shrivastava also runs a non-profit organization, Umang Foundation. It was due to his guidance to these students that the varsity had to implement the enhanced disability quota. He had also warned the varsity of legal action if the quota was not reserved.
The students are thankful to Shrivastava for his efforts.
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