"Round Square Fest - Earth Day"
The aim of the conference was to make the participants aware of their potential and how they can positively channelize the same to make an encouraging difference to themselves and the world around them. Sessions were planned on building awareness of self, surroundings, environment, the world around us and to empower the students to use this awareness to make a difference to self and community.
DAY 1: The students of classes 6A and 6B were most excited the day they received a circular from school informing them about the RS Fest (An overnight mini RS conference). The students started planning and looking forward to this event initiated for the first time for students of class 6 at DAIS. They reached school at 8 am on 21 April, and were welcomed very warmly by their Baraza leaders, the senior student volunteers from DAIS.
Environment: The RS Fest for younger students was an initiative led by the senior students who helped the juniors understand the ethos of Round Square philosophy. After a quick allotment of rooms and putting away their bags, they introduced themselves to their Baraza leaders. They all headed for a group photograph before starting on their first activity of the day, a fun trip to the Maharashtra Nature Park. A transformation of garbage dump to a green forest land, Maharashtra nature park has beautiful woodland with 14 thousand trees, 300 varieties of plants with few speciality herbs, a small lake, 100’s of varieties of migratory birds coming, insects, beautiful butterflies, reptiles and few mammals and fishes too..”
The environmental initiative for Earth day was making the Green wall.
Planting saplings was a special experience, giving back to nature, helping to sustain their precious environment, after all isn’t that one of the fundamental tenets of Round Square? Their small effort began with the creation of the ‘GREEN WALL’ using recycled bottles from their homes.
During the course of the RS Fest, there were two Baraza sessions where the students were divided into smaller groups and had senior students in the role of their Baraza leaders. These leaders helped the students explore the RS IDEALS using thoughtful discussions, games and fun activities. The ideals stand for Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
The word ‘’Baraza’ comes from East Africa. It means a public meeting place. Its origin is from Kiswahili language. In their Baraza sessions, they discussed the importance of their planet EARTH and its natural resources. Things that will become a part of their future like solar panels, windmills and bio gas. They understood that the natural resources on this planet can be saved only by saving the environment with small steps or actions like planting trees, generating less waste, recycling materials and not polluting the environment.
Leadership is not only about telling people what to do. It is about enhancing potentials, helping others overcome their weak points and not showing or proving that you are the one in charge. Ms. Vasundhara and her team gave the students a fun lecture on leadership qualities and how everyone can become a leader. They watched a lovely video about a young boy inspiring others to do well. They also did an activity about the difference between an unworthy leader and a true leader. True leaders do not tell others what to do but influence and inspire them to make the right decisions themselves.
The students from the partner NGO – ‘Across the Road ‘, visited DAIS with a group of 18 students in the age group of 10-14. The students bonded with them and participated in the next two sessions that followed. The students from the NGO were bright enthusiastic, and shared common interests - reading and playing team games. The evening had a generous dose of fun and games; sporting activities like football, khokho and cricket. They were complimented by a game of antakshari. The song contest was made more lively and fun with the teachers joining in whole heartedly much to everyone’s delight. The experience was an enriching, enjoyable and memorable one. By evening, the students planned and performed at the cultural night – the theme was based on the learnings from the various sessions conducted that day. It proved to be a very lively, entertaining, amusing and enthralling evening, indeed. Following the performances, their Baraza leaders, cut a cake, to celebrate the RS FEST, which was followed by dinner. That was the end of a very enriching day.
The next morning students woke up to vibrant music on the schools PA system and were wide awake grooving to the music. They quickly freshened up and reached the auditorium for a fun and rigorous Yoga session.
This was followed by an interesting and motivational talk by the senior school students Nainika Pansari, Ishita Bagri and Tanvi Inani, who shared their experiences of making it to the EBC (Everest Base Camp). They highlighted the importance of good leadership skills and teamwork. As they rightly said, ”There is a leader within all of us - all we have to do is recognize that skill within us and hone it.” They told the students the importance of pushing their limits, getting out of their comfort zone- another key principle of Round Square.
The RS Fest gave them an exposure to the IDEALS of Round Square. It taught them an attitude of gratitude that is extremely important in everyone’s lives. Also, taking care of their environment is imperative to preserving their planet and their future. With a very heavy heart they bid good byes to their teachers and left for their homes – with new dreams, aspirations and new lessons learnt for a life time.