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
390 students attend St. Bede’s National Seminar ‘Celebrating Indian Science’
Shimla: On Thursday, the Science Faculty of St. Bede’s College Shimla, in collaboration with Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), Shimla Chapter, hosted a one day National Seminar entitled ‘Celebrating Indian Science: From Past to Future’.
Around 350 Science students of the college along with 140 students from various colleges and schools of Shimla attended it.
These institutes included Centre of Excellence, Govt. Degree College, Sanjauli, R.K.M.V, Rajiv Gandhi Govt. Degree College, Chaura Maidan, Convent of Jesus and Mary, D.A.V School, Lakkar Bazaar, St. Edward’s School, Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jakhu, Govt. School, Sanjauli, Monal Public School, Model School Summerhill and Chapslee school.
During the seminar, the students were shown a movie on ‘The Quantum Indians’ in the first technical session of the seminar, and it was followed by On the Spot Quiz.
In the second session, Prof. P.K. Ahluwalia delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Impact of Innovation on Human Development through Science and Technology: From Past to Future.’
In the second half, Prof. Subhash Gupta delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Our Journey of Science – Future Ahead.’
In the third session, Prof. Jaspreet Sambi from Panjab University Chandigarh delivered a talk on ‘Indian Science Looking Back and into Future.’
To stimulate the idea of controlling pollution and protecting the environment and to share and discuss issues relating to it, a Panel discussion on the topic ‘Can Scientific Interventions Help Overcome the Curse of Pollution’ was also organized.
Towards the end of the seminar, students asked questions related to their queries which were answered convincingly. It was followed by a live demonstration of experiments by Physics, Microbiology, Biotechnology departments. The Department of Botany and Zoology put up an exhibition on medicinal plants and insects.
Training for farmers held at UHF Nauni under short term skill development programme
Shimla: A short-term skill development training programme and demonstration to young aspiring entrepreneurs and farmers was organized at the Directorate of Extension Education of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.
Twenty-five participants from Shimla and Mandi districts of the state took part in the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) sponsored training. Training coordinator and UHF’s Joint Director (Training) Dr Rajkumar Thakur said that the training focused on integrated production technology of horticulture crops.
The participants were apprised about the subtropical and temperate fruits like apple and citrus. Various aspects of beekeeping and mushroom cultivation were also discussed during the programmes due to the interest shown by the trainees. Besides lectures on insect-pest and disease management of pomegranate, apple, citrus and vegetables, practical demonstrations at kiwi, stone fruit and high-density apple plantation, apiary and canning unit of the university were also undertaken.
The training curriculum was designed to address the agricultural training requirements of the participants and training kits, ‘Package of Practice’ of various crops along with other university literature on spices and floriculture were also distributed to them. On the last day, Dr Thakur gave away training certificates to the participants besides a training stipend of Rs 1400 each.
In July this year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for one year for Rs 55 lakh was signed between UHF and SJVN. Under the agreement, the University will organize 32 trainings for farmers at its main campus and different research and training stations.
Over 800 farmers and orchardists will be trained under this initiative in one year. The SJVN Foundation will bear the total cost of these trainings.
Nauni varsity student to represent India in International Kickboxing championship in Argentina
Solan: While the youth of Himachal Pradesh is becoming infamous for the sudden surge in drug addiction it is witnessing currently, there are those who are bringing laurels to the State.
Lokesh Bhanot, a local from Solan district and a student of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is all set to represent the country in the World Kickboxing Championship to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 5-10, 2018. The World Kickboxing Federation is organizing the championship, it was informed by the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.
A fourth-year student of B Sc Forestry at the University’s College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Bhanot had bagged a bronze medal in the senior category (90-100 kg) in the National Kickboxing Championship held at Patna in 2016 and a Gold Medal in the 65-75 kg category at the National Championship held at Ghaziabad in 2012-13.
In addition, Bhanot has won several medals at the state and district level championships in different weight categories, said the PRO.
Hailing from Solan, Bhanot had previously represented India in Italy in 2013 where he became a black belt in the sport. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the World Kickboxing Championship in Sudan and Brazil, but could not participate due to his exams.
Not only has Bhanot excelled as a player, but in 2017 also became a World Kickboxing Federation accredited International referee in the sport by clearing the official exam. He is also an accredited national referee.
Bhanot credits his parents, coach and college teachers, and friends for their constant support for his success. The university has also recognized his achievements and awarded him with Outstanding Student and Sportsperson award at the University and College level.
While congratulating Bhanot for bringing laurels to the university and the College, Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that the University has been encouraging sporting activities along with academics.
He added that this achievement will also motivate other students of the university. Dr PC Sharma, Dean of COH&F and faculty also congratulated Bhanot for his sporting achievements.
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