In Pictures –Shimla Inter-School Declamation and Slogan Writing Contest and Winners
SHIMLA- On Friday last week, children of Shimla town took first step to raise their voice for a very basic as well as essential amenity – public parks, recreational space or space to play. The lack of public parks and playgrounds in Shimla’s growing concrete jungle found expression in the inter-school declamation and slogan writing competition held at the Amphitheater, Shimla Ridge on Friday.
About 21 speakers from about 11 prestigious schools of Shimla made the event successful. The topic of the competition was “Parks/Playgrounds in Shimla for Children – Indifferent Attitude of the Administration”.
The participant schools included Chapslee School, Laureate Public School: Mohit, Apurva Jhagta, Himalyan Public School, JCB Khalini, St Edwards, Portmore Swaran Public School, St Thomas, Auckland House Girls, DAV New Shimla.
The event was organized by Vivek Mohan and Keekli, a weekly newspaper. The organizers also included Editor Vandana Bhagra and contributor Ritanjali Hastir. Himachal Watcher had the pleasure of collaborating with the organizers as the media partner.
Suman Rawat, an Arjuna Award winner athlete from Himachal Pradesh, and Vivek Mohan, a National Award winner filmmaker from Shimla, were judges for the contest. The Deputy Advocate General Vinay Sharma was present as the chief guest.
The topic was such that the children, along with their academic training, received an opportunity to know what basic rights mean and role of district administration, thus, government in ensuring protection of these rights. It was inspiring to see children pointing out lack of vision in political leaders and administrators due to which Shimla is now plagued by haphazard and unplanned construction. Sadly, speakers said, the government has entirely omitted incorporation of public parks and playgrounds and blindly encouraging construction of only multi-story complexes and commercial structures.
Part-I-Watch speakers at ‘Shimla Inter-School Declamation Competition’ Amphitheater –
Part-II-Watch speakers at ‘Shimla Inter-School Declamation Competition’ Amphitheater
The speakers mentioned how lack of outdoor spaces can affect over-all wellbeing and personality development in children, how gadgets are replacing culture of outdoor playing, how children feel inclined towards substance abuse as a mean of recreation, and how children are deprived of learning important lesson in team-work, leadership, competence, social engagement etc.
Similarly, in ‘Slogan Writing’ contest, the participant schools conveyed the same message through eye catching slogans over beautifully painted charts. The slogans were judged by Vivek Mohan.
Watch Winners of Shimla Inter-School Declamation and Slogan Writing Contest
Not only the students, but the Chief Guest and Judges spoke their heart and supported the children in their demand. J R Nanda, a senior citizen and a true Samaritan, recalled days from his childhood when almost every house built during British rule had a tennis court. He recited how the government allowed reconstruction over these courts as well as any space it could find to pile up bricks and sand. Everyone applauded organization of such a wonderful event and encouraged children except one of the judges, Suman Rawat.
Suman Rawat, in a very strange stance, labeled the topic as irrelevant and demands for parks and playground as impractical. She launched sarcastic attack on the participants. She said that the general knowledge of every participant was zero and claimed that the city has sufficient grounds. She blamed children for not coming ahead to play and left no stone unturned to discourage children from taking up this issue. She even went to question education provided in even most prestigious schools of Shimla and said that it’s easy to cram a speech than actually form solutions in response to this demand. She appeared agitated over the fact that in the topic related to sports and playground, she wasn’t recognized by anyone. However, later the chief guest answered her well and boosted up children, who were discouraged by Suman Rawat. Moreover,Vivek Mohan also expressed concern over lethargy of media that failed to highlight Rawat and her achievement.
The winners were awarded by the chief guest and all participants were given participation certificates. The vote of thanks was offered by Vandna Bhagra that was followed by honoring the organizers, judges, and the chief guest. With distribution of refreshments, it concluded on a very positive note.
Results of English Declamation Contest
First: Anmolika Sood, DAV New Shimla
Second: Riya Saran, Portmore
Third: Mrinal Joshi, Swaran Public School
Results of Hindi Declamation Contest
First: Aakrit Sharma, DAV New Shimla
Second: Sashantika, Portmore
Third: Chahat, JCB Public School
Consolation: Megha Jasmal, Swaran Public School
Winning Entry in Slogan Writing Contest
Second Winning Entry in Slogan Writing Contest
Third Winning Entry in Slogan Writing Contest
All Photos: Tarun Sharma and Dheeman Gaud
Videos: Himachal Watcher