Ballet on Gandhi has teachers in tears
By Khimi Thapa
A touching rendition of an episode from Mahatma Gandhi’s early years by renowned kathak exponent Shovana Narayan was the piece de resistance at the Hindustan Times Partnerships for Action in Education (HT-PACE) Annual Teachers’ Meet on Monday. Apart from striking a chord with many of the
estimated 600 teachers from schools across Delhi and its satellite towns, the ballet Mohan and Rambha, which was wriiten by Gandhiji’s grandson Ramchandra, also reflected relevant social concerns on issues related to women as well as themes such as untouchability, human greed and the secular fabric of our country.
Citing the example of how Gandhiji accepted Rambha as his guru and unwaveringly obeyed her advice that he should take up chanting the name of Lord Rama, the danseuse, who is a Padma Shri awardee, urged educators to be aware of the responsibility that lies on their shoulders. “A teacher’s one stray word can influence a child throughout his life,” she said.
Earlier, the event began with lighting of the inaugural lamp by Annapoorna Sehgal, head-education, HT PACE; Saurabh Nanda, executive director, Nature’s Essence; Shailender Joshi, branch manager, TTK Prestige Limited and Sanjeev Pandey from Smart Technologies.
“This annual meet gives teachers a platform to engage, interact and exchange ideas to gear up for the new academic session which is soon going to begin. It also recognises and acknowledges the efforts that teachers put day-in and day-out,” Sehgal said.
Highlighting the initiatives taken up by PACE during the current academic session, which is drawing to a close, Sehgal referred to the annual principals’ meet, essay-writing competition and educational excursions, among others.
As expected, the dance ballet received praise from all quarters. “Adjectives such as spellbinding and mesmerising are not enough to praise Narayan’s spectacular choreography that recapitulated a whole era in a 50-minute dance recital. It was, indeed, a mammoth effort,” said Lakshmi Srinivas of St Mark’s Public School, Meera Bagh. “I will try to ensure that this play is either shown to the students in my school or that they should reenact it,” she added.
Ghazala Ahmad of Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, who attended the meet for the eighth time, said, “Every year, I eagerly wait for the annual meet as the HT-PACE outdoes itself each time. After this enthralling show, I don’t know what is next.”
Neetu Khanna of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, who was moved to tears by the emotive rendition, said, “The play sends a message that as teachers we need to build in each child an inner strength that would help allay fears.”
Sonia Gill of DLDAV Modern School, Shalimar Bagh, said, “We hardly get a chance to interact with teachers of other schools. The HT-PACE annual meet is one platform where we get to do so. I look forward to it every year.”
The event concluded with a lunch and the lucky draw which saw teachers walking away with a wide range of kitchen appliances sponsored by TTK Prestige Limited.
Shalini Bhardwaj of Raman Munjal Vidya Mandir, Gurgaon; Rashmi Sighaney of Delhi Public School International, Saket; Neelam Sehgal of Maharaja Agrasen Adarsh Public School, Pitampura; Lakshmi Srinivas of St Mark’s Public School, Meera Bagh and Urmila Yadav of MBM International School, Ashok Nagar were the lucky winners. The meet was sponsored by Nature’s Essence, TTK Prestige Limited and Smart Technologies.