At the Education Outreach Centre, Republic Day celebrations spanned two days. On Friday, students in the upper grades participated in essay and drawing competitions. They had the choice of several themes, including “unity” and “modern India,” and they produced some gorgeously detailed work. While the older children scribbled studiously in the classrooms below, the terrace echoed with laughter and shouts of the younger kids, who were having a field day, well, having a field day. Between the three-legged races, tug-of-war, and relays, all the children had a great time, and even Manisha teacher got to show off her enviable jump rope skills.
On Saturday, Republic Day proper, the program began with the ceremonial raising of the flag and singing of the national anthem around a brand-new flagpole, which was decorated with an intricately patterned Rangoli in the national colors. Our honored guests included Mrs. Anita Kamath, Mr. Jeevraj, and Dr. and Mrs. Kulkarni (parents of Manali didi). The children welcomed the guests with flower garlands, and then several different groups presented songs and dances. In keeping with the patriotic theme of the day, the student performances incorporated pictures of significant historical figures and an enormous Indian flag. The guests then delivered speeches and told stories – Mr. Jeevraj had the students in stitches with a motivational tale of a one-handed boxer, and Mrs. Kamath spoke to the importance of trying hard despite your circumstances. Finally, the day ended with a feast of laddus and sweets. All in all, it was a fitting tribute to Mother India from her future batch of leaders.