PRATISTHA 2018: Community Outreach by Special Olympics Bharat

We are all like snowflakes or broken mirrors inside a kaleidoscope. We are unique. We are beautiful the way we are, just the way we are. Would a kaleidoscope be as much fun if all the patterns were the same? I don’t think so. And this is true for people as well. The beauty fundamentally lies in the fact that we are all extraordinarily distinct as unique individuals.

Throughout history, societies have been, and still continue to be, divided into hierarchies or strata. Some are based on racial differences, others in gender and some in caste. However differently abled people face the burden of ridicule, stigma and discrimination irrespective of which strata of society they belong to. Although a considerable number of people in this world are disabled, not much heed is paid to their needs or demands.

Dr Kessler aptly wrote, “The term normal is not a statistical concept, but a personal judgment in which we use ourselves as the standard, and the subject of our attention as the deviation from that standard.” The standard on which differently abled people are judged and discriminated against is usually ableism. And ableism is often determined by physical fitness. Differently abled people have been looked upon as dependent, unfit, invalids and whatnot.

Special Olympics International is a worldwide non-profit organisation for benefiting the intellectually disabled through the medium of sports. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events a year. Special Olympics Bharat is an officially recognised programme of Special Olympics International which operates in India. It is recognized by the government of India as a National Sports Federation for the development of sports opportunity for the people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Bharat is bringing the second edition of its annual sports rendezvous Prathistha 2018, on 1st July 2018. It is a community outreach programme aimed at promoting a sense of inclusion in the youth. Participants will get a chance to play a wide variety of sports with athletes who have represented, or are training to represent, our country in the Special Olympics World Games. There will be a variety of sports from cricket, tug of war, to relay races.

The event is going to be held on Sunday, 1st July 2018, at Smriti Van, Mayur Vihar Phase III. The event will begin at 4 pm and there are no registration fees. The only thing they ask of you, is three hours of your time.

Here’s some further information about Pratishtha 2018, courtesy SO Bharat Youth Leaders:

Pratishtha is a community outreach event which targets spreading awareness about Special Olympics, intellectual disability, and make an inclusive society.  

The core aim is to promote and practice inclusion. The volunteers who organize, plan and implement the event are Youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities from different school and colleges. Tanmay Aggarwal was the pioneer Youth Leader who initiated this event which was first conducted at Vijay Mandal Park, Malviya Nagar on 30th July 2017 which had about 70 volunteers from different schools. 

 This year’s plan:

DATE: 1st July 2018

VENUE: Smriti Van, Play Area

TIMINGS: 4pm – 7pm

 Sports Events:

  1. Cricket
  2. Powerlifting 
  3. Athletics
  4. Tug of War  

 Highlights- 

  1. Students of Tagore International School will be performing a nukkad natak on inclusion.
  2. Photo booth- People will get a chance to click photos with the athletes who won medals for India at World Games. 

 Resources that SO Bharat will arrange:

  • Athletes with special needs
  • Trained Coaches
  • Sports equipments
  • Banners
  • Refreshments
  • Stalls

So what are you waiting for? Grab your family and friends and be at Smriti Van at 4 pm on 1st July!

 

 

 

 

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PAIN AND ITS COLOURS

Pain comes in all colours and shades,
It is always there, looming around the corner;
Turn around and you might catch a glimpse before it fades.
It is a black whirlpool that sucks all joy away;
It is the blood and saliva exploding across the world as she screams;
It is the silent grey of deserted cities and decay,
It is the iridescent colour of shattered glass and broken dreams.
It is the oozing red and the silent tears after a fall,
It is the orange and yellow of a pyre burning bright,
It is the white silence of betrayal, when, for help you call,
It is the dark blue of the long tunnel of struggles you walk, no end in sight.
It is the flash of silver and the blood that follows,
It is the deep purple that consumes you and leaves you hollow

It is a roar, an eclipse – O! Will you ever be whole again?

PRESUMED GUILTY

Hey! I’m back (after an year). Its not that I didn’t have anything to post, I was too busy or at the other times, too lazy to open up my blog and publish some stuff.

So, I’m going to share a story I wrote in the summer last year (yeah, I know… I’m damn late)

Well, so this story came about after a 10 classes course full of fun and amazing activities. All the merit of making me confident about the stories I write, and the wildest flights my imagination takes, goes to Vibha Malhotra ma’am. *victory music in the background* She is just an amazing teacher. She knows how to blend fun with learning, and made this course the most wonderful experience of my life as a short story writer. So I sincerely want to thank Vibha ma’am and Literature Studio for the splendid course, and of course Sangeeta aunty who told me about this course. Seriously, this story would not have been possible without these two amazing ladies. 😀 ❤

The original story that I wrote during the course is published at Literature Studio. But since my school English teacher got so impressed by this story and wanted it to be published i our school magazine – Sagarika, I shortened it. So here is the edited version. And if you want to see the original story, click the link above! 🙂 🙂

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I peeked timidly into our class. Rajiv Choudhary, our Political Science teacher, was leaning against the teacher’s desk, waving his thin bony arms to the rest of the class. Dr. Choudhary was an easy target of ridicule of the students, especially due to his old fashioned ways and peculiar dressing sense. Today, I was late for his class as I had gone to submit my entry for “Words and More” the prestigious Inter school story writing competition. I was the favourite student of all my teachers. The only exception to this rule was Dr. Choudhary. He would always favor Amish Marwah over me and I could not, for the life of me, figure out why! How could he prefer that clumsy and diffident oaf over me! I, who had won the epithet of Hermione Granger for my eagerness to impress the teachers and answer all their questions.

“May I come in sir?”

“You are late, Geeta. Hurry up now and let’s get on with our discussion.”

What, no scolding? Was he being sarcastic, I wondered as I murmured an apology on my way to my seat.

“I have decided who is going to be the monitor of this class” he announced. All my friends looked at me in expectation. I knew it had to be me this time. I held my breath.

“Amish Marwah.”

I woke up from my day dream. What the hell? Amish? Seriously? He can never carry out any responsibilities. He is always sitting at his corner desk and reading some book or scribbling and doodling away in his notebook.

Just wait till other teachers find out that sir has made Amish his monitor! Oh, how will they laugh at his foolishness! I don’t know whether this is jealousy, but I do want to know why Dr. Choudhary is so partial to Amish, who, in my opinion, is the least deserving of us all.

“A week from today,” Dr. Choudhary said, “We will have a discussion on Federalism. I want you all to give your views on equal representation in federalism.”

This was my chance to prove to him how intelligent I was and how wrong he was in favouring Amish over me. I spent hours preparing for the activity.  I was confident that I would secure the highest marks and would make a lasting impression on Dr. Choudhary.

On the day of the debate the class was tense as Dr. Choudhary began calling the students one by one. It seemed like eternity before he called my name, “Geeta Gupta.” I walked with full confidence to the podium and stood facing everyone. I glanced at Amish. Suddenly a disturbing thought crossed my mind. What if he performs well? He will get all the praise. I silently scolded myself for distracting my thoughts, but my eyes kept on moving towards Amish all through my speech.

“I am of the strong opinion that everyone should be treated equally and no person or community should be favored. The system of reserved seats in jobs and schools created at the time of Independence was introduced to help the backward come forth and play a role in the development of the country. But now, it has been more than 60 years since we became an independent country. All the citizens of the country now enjoy equal resources. So what is the need of reservations? The deserving and capable students should be helped to grow more and reach new heights totally on the basis of merit, irrespective of caste, gender, and religion.”

I walked back to my seat very pleased with myself. “Very well done, Geeta. You are truly a smart young girl.” Dr. Choudhary beamed at me. Aha! Finally you realised. I smiled back.

“Amish Marwah.” Dr. Choudhary nodded at him with his ever-encouraging smile.

He walked with clumsy steps to the front of the class. The look on his face made me laugh at myself. I was afraid of him?

He started speaking “Federalism is more than just equal distribution of power. You all know that India is a federal country. But isn’t Jammu and Kashmir a special state? Hasn’t it been given a special status? Well, does this change India from being a federal country? No. There are some exceptions to fair and equal distribution. And of course there is the aspect of Justice. Everyone cannot be treated equally. The less-developed states such as Bihar have to be given special status. The less peaceful states like J & K have to be given special status. They will lag behind the country if they are not given extra resources and help from the center. Thus, I sincerely feel that there are some who really need a little help to achieve self-confidence and self-respect.”

“Amish my boy,” he continued, “I am so proud of you. You are genuinely working towards achieving great heights. I am very happy that you have improved so much. Always keep trying and have faith in yourself.”

That did it! He was being unfair. I couldn’t stand it anymore,

“Excuse me? What is the meaning of all this?” I spoke out. “Here you are, going on and on and on praising Amish! And ‘Very well done’ is all you have to say to me? You are the most biased and unjust teacher ever.” I felt that I was shouting, but I couldn’t help it. “And you Amish. You are the biggest fool of this class.” Amish looked as if he was about to break into tears. He deserves it, I told myself. “Dr. Choudhary tells you that you are brilliant. But let me tell you. He is lying. You are nothing but a fool. Everyone makes fun of you, and I bet, even Dr. Choudhary jokes about you with rest of the teachers.” Amish looked at Dr. Choudhary and ran out of the class with tears streaming down his face.

I, too, walked out of the classroom. “Geeta, wait. Please, both of you listen to me once. Oh, don’t cry Amish.” I heard Dr. Choudhary call out, but I didn’t stop. Rage was brewing up in my head. I saw Dr. Choudhary looking at me. “Oh dear. You are crying too,” he said. I shouted, “I am NOT crying!” But even as I said that I felt a tear run down my left cheek. I ran down the stairs “Geeta, come back. Please hear me out.” I heard a pleading voice from behind. I paid no heed

I descended the steps with my thoughts quite clear. This biased and unfair teacher had no right to stay in our school any longer. I wouldn’t rest until he is out of the school, I told myself.

I stopped in front of the brown, elegant door with “PRINCIPAL” written on top of it in bold letters. I straightened myself and knocked at the door. “Come in.” I walked in and the Principal looked up questioningly. I took a deep breath and began, “Sir, I’m Geeta Gupta of class X D. Sorry to interrupt you, but the matter is quite serious…”

He listened grimly to my tale of woe and said, “Dr. Choudhary is a good teacher. Surely there has to be a convincing reason behind his actions.”

I heard the door opened behind me. There was Dr. Choudhary standing there. “I am terribly sorry for bursting in like this. I thought that I would find Geeta here,” he said and looked at me.

“Your guess was quite right. And now that you are here, I would like you to answer a few questions,” Principal Sir said.

Dr. Choudhary looked in my direction “I only wanted to help Amish come forth. I saw through his work that he is a talented young boy. I feel that the smart students can take care of themselves and their studies without the help of teachers, but it’s the below average students who need our help. And I was trying to do just that. But since my actions are not acceptable, I’ll only say that I’m sorry for all the trouble I have caused. And I wish to no longer be a nuisance to you and to my students.” Having said this, he turned around and walked out of the door.

I saw him go out of the school building through the window. Principal Sir followed my gaze, “Well, that’s it. Now we are again short of a Political Science teacher.”

That afternoon, when I reached home, I found a letter addressed to me. It was from “Words and More, Story-Writing Competition”, a chill ran down my spine. The results have finally come! I will surely bag a prize. With the letter containing the results in my hand, I frowned as I remembered how Dr. Choudhary had encouraged Amish to participate in this competition and hadn’t said a word to me.

I brushed aside the thoughts of Dr. Choudhary and Amish and read the letter. I stood up in surprise as I read the results. My name was nowhere to be found!

And look who came second – Amish Marwah! What did this boy have that he is shining in every field? What is so special about him? Was Dr. Choudhary right? Is he really talented? All the events of the day of the debate flashed in front of my eyes. I felt guilty. Had I been too harsh on Amish? Should I have thought once before breaking into such an outburst?

That evening I reached Amish’s house. A servant opened the door and led me to Amish’s room. The room was a mess. And in the midst of the mess, sat Amish, scribbling away in his little notebook. He looked up at me, “Geeta? What are you doing here?”

I didn’t know what to say. I just showed him the letter, “I… Congratulations Amish.”

He smiled, “Oh this! So I sent my story a few days back. It was a shock to me too. When Dr. Choudhary told me that I could do it, I didn’t believe him. I smiled back at him, “Congratulations again.”

I sat for hours in his room. We talked about all that had happened to both of us during the past week. When I came out, I was feeling better. But I had realized the wrong I had done to Dr. Choudhary. I should have at least heard what he wanted to tell, before taking such a drastic step. I wished I could, for once, meet him and beg his forgiveness.

Being a Bal Bhartian….

School -……..

Whenever I hear this word, the image of my school buildings comes to my mind.

Kids running around…..Seniors sitting on the stage ….Some of them walking around, gossiping…. 🙂 

bal bharti ganga ram

Exams are over…Goodbye VIII F.…. Now off to Class IX. 

We all had stayed in the same section-F, all the way from 6th, 7th and 8th. But now we have to choose between Sanskrit and Hindi. That means the same set of students will not be promoted automatically to IX F but we’ll be shuffled up and assigned different sections. 😦 Who knows who amongst us will land up in which section when we go to school on 1st of April.

We will be seperated !!!! 😦 😦 😦

The students who opted for German or French in 6th would not be shuffled and will stay together but their sections will change – from A and B respectively to G ( for French) and H ( for German).

The section we all had felt proud of, for 3 years, is no longer ours. .. We are no longer the Fabulous F

But yes, I am never ever gonna forget all those idiots I have been with all these 3 years. They were my Fabulously Fantastic Friendzz.. 🙂

VIII F roxxx!!!

I will never forget those jokes, pranks, pantiyan, funny moments with teachers!!!

Ah! Those days!

How am I going to miss beating all those boys – Bhavya, Shivam, Sajal, Gagan. Saiyam 😛 Becharon ne bhut maar kai h… 😛   Gonna miss you all yrr or hum 9th mein thapad kis ko mare ge yrr.. 😛 it’ll be so boring!! 😛

Yrr gonna miss u all 8 f… from the depth of my heart.. 😦

East or west 8 F is the BEST!!

BEST CLASS EVER!!

For you all guyzzz…

Keep Calm

Are a House and a Home DIFFERENT???

The Sun rose from behind the buildings. It sent a ray through Prashansa’s window as if saying,” Prashansa, it’s time for school. Wake up.”

 “Ah,Good Morning Sun!”said Prashansa, as she began to get ready for school.

 Prashansa was a friendly and bright girl. She was  outspoken and had a soft side for animals. She had a kind nature and loved to study and read books. She belonged to a middle class family but was contented with whatever she got.

After having breakfast she started for school. That day her class teacher, Mrs. Kapoor arrived in the class early. Everyone got a hint that today she was going to give them a big surprise. Rahul, Prashansa’s classmate stood up and asked,”Excuse me ma’am, sorry to interrupt, but is something special today? I mean, you came early.”

“Yes students, we are having a new student today.” she told them,” Come in Sanjana. You will find your new classmates great.”

A girl walked in majestically. She had beautiful black hair tied loosely with a ribbon. Behind her came an armed man dressed in black with a walkie-talkie. ‘He might be her bodyguard!’, thought Prashansa, ‘but why would she need one? Is she a celebrity or what?’

 The girl told her ‘bodyguard’ off.

“Hi friends,” she said with poise and self assurance, ” I am Sanjana Gupta. My mother Ritika Arora is a famous actress and my father, Rajveer Gupta is a successful businessman. So, you can see I have a bodyguard.”

” Huh! Such attitude lies in her. Why come to our school when your parents are so hi-fi personalities. Go to America, or England or somewhere else instead.” whispered Anjali.

 She was seated next to Prashansa. Everyone would gather round her desk and ask her weird questions about her parents. She would answer them with patience. But she was proved very poor in the fields of studies and sports. She used to run away from sports and never wanted to even enter the playgrounds. ” They make me feel sweaty, dirty and tired. I hate sports.” she would say to Prashansa.

Once Sanjana invited Prashansa to her birthday party celebrations. She even asked her to stay for a sleepover. “Only a few of my great friends get an opportunity to be a part of the sleepovers.”she told Prashansa.

An excited Prashansa returned home. Her mother asked the reason for her peculiar behaviour. She told her mother about her conversation with Sanjana. “Humm..” said her mother thoughtfully, “So you are going to the birthday party of  Sanjana Gupta, the daughter of Ritika Arora, the star. You know, my dear, Ritika was my classmate when we were students. Her father Rahul Arora was the King of Bollywood at that time. She was really stubborn.”

“But mom, Sanjana is not at all stubborn. And she will be sad if I don’t go there. Besides she has a kind nature and loves animals” Prashansa tried to tell her mother. “Yes dear, I have never tried to stop you from going there. But I just wanted to tell you that you may not be comfortable there.” her mother said.”Why would I not be comfortable there, mom? They have so many servants” Prashansa asked. She got the answer,”Oh dear, after all a house and a home are not same. We live in a home, whereas Sanjana and her family live in a house. You are used to living in a home. You won’t be able to adjust there.”

“Won’t be ale to ADJUST! Come on mom! What do you want to say?” Prashansa was a bit irritated.   Her mother said softly,” Maybe you will come to know what I mean on the right day, that is, on Sanjana’s birthday. So don’t worry just know. OK, dear.”

The right time,thought Prashansa, What does mom want to say! She decided to stay silent and not argue with her mother. She wanted to wait for the ‘RIGHT’ moment, whatever or whenever it was.

She bought a beautiful vase and a jewelry box for Sanjana. She also made her a pretty card. She sat in the car beside her mother. She had kept her night-dress for the sleepover.And of course, how could she forget her AUTOGRAPH BOOK!!! She wanted to have Sanjana’s mother’s autograph!

As she was getting down for the car her mother called,” I wish you may understand the meaning of a house and a home today. Bye dear”

Prashansa bid her goodbye and went in the house. A servant received her at the door and took her inside to a big hall.

Wow! What a place! Does Sanjana live here? she thought.

She found Sanjana busy with some of her friends who also included some of Prashansa’s classmates. Prashansa gave Sanjana her gifts and looked around for her parents. When asked Sanjana replied,” Oh, my parents! Well, mom had an important shooting to do for her upcoming film and my father had to go to Germany for a business meeting . They will be back by tomorrow.” Prashansa was astonished. How could they, she thought, How could they leave their daughter alone on THIS special day of her life!

When Prashansa saw Sanjana cutting her birthday cake all alone, her eyes became wet. Prashansa remembered her birthdays when her parents were there when she cut the cake, when she opened her presents and when she enjoyed the last moments of the day. But Sanjana did not have any of these happiness.

When the party ended, much more shocks awaited Prashansa. She thought that now was the time she loved the most, opening of presents. Would Sanjana like my gifts? What would be the other presents she got? Such thoughts emerged in Prashansa’s mind.

But what happened was extraordinary. When they entered Sanjana’s room, they found so many gifts lying here and there. Prashansa figured her gift in the sea of gifts and wanted that Sanjana would open her gift the first. But what’s that? Sanjana told her servants to take those ‘nonsense gifts’ away and open them. She ordered them to keep the gifts in their proper place. Prashansa watched the scene wide-eyed and open-mouthed. She saw her gift and many others being carried away by the servants.

She did not want to stay there even a second more. She wanted to go home. ” Sanjana, I am not feeling well, she lied, I want to go home. Please can I call my mother?” ” Sure” was the answer. Prashana was even more bewildered. Sanjana didn’t even ask that what had happened to her. She seemed the least bother. Before Prashansa could gather herself, Sanjana was back with a return gift and then handing it to her, she ran to her friends and started to play!

Prashansa called her mother who arrived soon. As soon as Prashansa was in the car, she started to cry. When they were far from Sanjana’s house, Prashansa threw the unopened returned gift out of the window. She told her mother about the party on the way.  Her mother smiled and said,” Well my dear, I think you now know the difference between a HOUSE and a HOME?”

“Yes mom” was the answer.