Friday, August 31, 2012

Pratham Prabhu Pachhi Paglu

As per the tradition of Atmiya Vidya Mandir, each house i.e. Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram and Suhradam, gets a value for a week and on that value they have to share their thoughts in the daily assembly from Monday to Friday. On Saturday the house members have to creatively present the value assigned to them through a skit, song, dance, etc.

Suhradam house had got the value of 'Learning through Life of Lord Krishna'. On the 18th of August 2012 they performed on the topic 'Pratham Prabhu Pachhi Paglu'. The program commenced at 7:30 am in the prayer hall. The assembly started with a prayer and after that Shrimadbhai of 4th standard gave an overview of the creative assembly and welcomed all the students and staff. The drama started with the conversation between two students Shrimad and Darshit. In the drama Shrimad is portrayed as a brilliant student and Darshit always has challenges in his studies. So Darshit asks his friend the secret of his success to which Shrimad replies 'Pratham Prabhu Pachhi Paglu' and then explains that we should remember God before and after all our work. Darshit did not understand and therefore Shrimad explains him this through the life of Lord Krishna in Mahabharat.

In the Mahabharat, there was a war between Pandavs and the Kauravs. During this war within just 17 days, 99 Kauravs were killed and only Duryodhan was alive. Gandhari the mother of Kauravs came to know about the death of his sons and got worried about the future of Duryodhan. Gandhari had invested a divine power in her eyes by keeping them blind folded for years. Duryodhan came to his mother to seek blessings for the final battle. But Gandhari decided that it would be more fruitful if she transfered her power on to him. Duryodhan was instructed to go and take bath in river Ganga and return completely undressed. He agreed with resignation and on his way back he met Lord Krishna surreptitiously and Krishna got baffled by the appearance. Duryodhan gave justification of his act. Krishna said it would not be a good thing to do so. So, Lord Krishna suggests Duryodhan to at least cover the private parts of his body by leaves of a tree. He then goes to his mother wearing the leaves and her mother opens her blind fold and instantly all the power gets transferred to Duryodhan. Duryodhan's entire body becomes as strong as an iron except for the parts where he is wearing the leaves. Gandhari becomes extremely sad as Duryodhan did not completely followed her order.

Overtaken by his narcissism he left her without much discussion. Duryodhan goes to the Pandavs and challenges each of them to a duel. Bheem accepts his challenge. In the first few minutes itself Bheem gets exhausted but Duryodhan is as solid as a rock. Then Lord Krishna cleverly implicates Bheem about his weak spot. Bheem strikes his mace on the thighs of Duryodhan which was left weak by the shrewdness of Lord Krishna. Bheem kept hitting the thighs of Duryodhan which led to his death. The drama made it very clear to the students that we are so limited in our foresight but God is unlimited.

Then the protagonist of the drama, Shrimad, explained to Darshit the benevolent nature of God. He explained that Lord incarnates Himself whenever His devotees need Him and He has already taken several incarnations in this planet earth. This was depicted by a dance performance choreographed by Suhradam Sir showing the 'Dashavatars' of Lord Vishnu. After the dance Darshit understood the importance of prayer and started praying.

In a nutshell it was understood by all the students of Atmiya Vidya Mandir that we need to use the Sandwich technique daily i.e. Prayer - Hard work - Prayer. The assembly was then concluded by the school song.

The main characters of the play were:
  • Vinamra (7th Std) as Shrimad
  • Daksh (7th Std) as Darshit
  • Parth Amipara (10th Std) as Duryodhan
  • Vaishali Madam as Mata Gandhari
  • Neel Virani (10th Std) as Lord Krishna
  • Harsh Vaghela (10th Std) as Bheem.
Written By: Denish Jalawadiya, Manav Patel, and Deval Patel - Class 12th Science

Thursday, August 30, 2012

66th Independence Day

The midnight of August 15, 1947 is memorable for every Indian on earth, as it is the time when India gained independence from the stranglehold of the mighty British. The otherwise suppressed tri-coloured flag of India was given its due respect, when it was hoisted in the midnight on the Independence Day. Since then, the red-letter day is celebrated with pomp and gaiety, across the length and breadth of India. Cultural programs and flag-hoisting ceremonies are a predominant affair of the day, while colourful kites fill the sky in the evening, to symbolize freedom. Students indulge themselves in remembering the heroes of the freedom struggle and pay homage to them.

We celebrate this day with great zeal every year. This year great preparations were made in the school. The ceremony started with the gathering of the students in front of the prayer hall. Then the sports Captain Harshil Soni and his group marched in unison, escorting the guests to the decorated arena where the tricolour flag was to be hoisted. Trustees and dignitaries of the school hoisted the flag and just after that the national song "Vande Mataram" was sung by the students.

Then the students shifted to the assembly hall to continue with the cultural program. The ceremony started with poojan of Thakorji by the esteemed guests who were the trustees and members of school management. The stage was decorated tastefully with appreciable sketches of freedom fighters made by the students. The junior students performed a mesmerizing dance performance on the song “Nanha munna rahi hoon”. They also performed a dance drama depicting the life of patriots and what they did for our country.

To add flavour of great patriotism to these enthusiastic students, senior students sang a stirring, thrilling and rousing song ‘Bhagavati Bharat Mata’. After this, Pushpak sir in his speech encouraged everyone to be a true patriot and to contribute in the developing of nation, he stated the example of the patriots of India, how they fought for our freedom, he also emphasised the prevailing problems in India such as - poverty, communal violence, terrorism and illiteracy which are needed to be immediately tackled for the development of our country. The main event of the function was the enthralling and overwhelming performance by the senior students on the song “Satyamev Jayate” which received a once more cheer from the crowd and the seniors performed it again with more enthusiasm.

The eventful day came to a glorious end with the rendition of the National Anthem sung in unison with gusto.

The programme concluded with the distribution of sweets.

Written by: Shubham Patel, Shubham Pansari (Class 11th Commerce)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Janmashtami celebration at Atmiya Vidya Mandir

Janmashtami is a festival which is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Krishna. Every year at Atmiya Vidya Mandir, Janmashtami is celebrated with great fervour and pomp. This year, on the eve of Janmashtami, students gathered in the prayer hall for a melodious bhajan sandhya. During the bhajan sandhya, Pushpak Sir kept sharing poems and stories related to the life of Lord Krishna. On the other hand P. Suhrad Swamiji, Pravartak Sir and Somnath Sir with his team sang some melodious devotional bhajans depicting the life and message of Shree Krishna. All the students, teachers and staff were enthused in the melodies of these lovely bhajans. At 12 am, Aarti of Thakorji was performed after which prasad of Panjari was distributed.

The following day, on 11th August 2012, students gathered at 3:15 pm for the Matki-phod ceremony near Jr. Hostel organised by the Sports team. The ceremony began with poojan of Thakorji. A chill ran down everyone's mind looking at the heights at which the different Matkis were hanged for the students to break in remembrance of their dear GOD Lord Krishna. There were 5 different heights at which the Matkis were hanged for different age groups. The first one, which was at the smallest height, was broken by the students of classes 1st to 3rd. The next was broken by classes 4th and 5th. The third was broken by students of classes 6th and 7th. Everyone enjoyed the scene of how the little ones broke the pots with their team work. It was now turn of Seniors and the students of standards 8th and 9th broke the next level of Matki. Students of classes 10th, 11th and 12th got the challenge to work as a team to break the highest of the Matkis forming a human pyramid.

The students tried hard to break the 5th level of Matki but in vain. Then the Sports teachers came to their rescue and the students together with the teachers were successful in breaking the 5th level of Matki.

Thus, students of Atmiya Vidya Mandir learnt a lesson for life in this short celebration. The lesson learnt was that nothing of significance in this world can be done by an individual alone. All the work in the world is achieved when many different people come together towards a common goal to accomplish it. The fifth level of Matki was a challenge and it was done together with the efforts of the students and the teachers. Everyone involved experienced and practiced the word Atmiyata which is one solution for all challenges in the world.

Hence, this Janmashtami celebration was not just a fun-filled event for the students but it imbibed in them the school's core value of Atmiyata.

Compiled by: Aditya Patel, Romal Patel, Ishan Vaghasiya and Purva Patel - Class 12th Science

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exhibition on Acids, Bases and Salts by Std 10 students

I Hear And I Forget,

I See And I Remember,

I Do and I Understand.

Chemistry is a science of experiments. Scientific concepts can be easily understood by performing experiments. Students learn how to handle the equipments and develop a scientific attitude.

Students of Std 10 recently organised an exhibition on Acid, Base and Salt. They gathered the information about the topic from various books, encyclopaedias and websites.

Students presented experiments to the visitors (students and teachers) to detect whether the given substance was an acid, basic or salt by nature. They gathered many food items and checked their nature with different indicators (litmus paper, phenolphthalein and methyl orange) and also measured pH of the given material with pH strips and universal indicator.

In the process, the students (both - the presenters and the visitors) not only learnt about the topic but also understood the nature of the food they eat daily. They also found out the three gunas of the food that is, Satvik food, Rajas food and Tamsic food. Many students became aware that taking certain types of food (like soft drinks, tea, coffee, spicy food, junk food, etc.) in excess is not good for the health. They learnt about 10 different ways to maintain a balance in our body by exploiting the neutralising nature of the reaction of an alkali and an acid.

The presenters also gathered soil from different areas of the campus and measured pH of these samples and understood the nature of the soil and types of crops that grow in a particular type of soil.

The school principal, Dr. Vijay Patel, all teachers, especially the Chemistry teachers (Anand Sir and Archana Madam) encouraged the students and discussed with them about their selected topic(s) and gave them some very valuable feedback. Their questions made the presenting students think differently at times to find an answer and a few were left unanswered on the day for the students to dig out an appropriate explanation.

Overall, the "fair" turned out to be a great learning experience for both the participants and the visiting students. 

Written by: Swayam Madam

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Inception of the AVM Debating Club

Live in a way leaving a mark of your existence

Exist in a way establishing your recognition

Be recognised in a way

Rising above the crowd while still standing
among them.........

It seems as if this verse is especially composed for the students of AVM to inspire them to live a meaningful and purposeful life and nurture leadership quality to become legendary. In addition to this, communication skills are most essential to stand in today’s fast pacing and competitive world. It is mandatory for the students to express their ideas precisely and effectively. Students must have the skill to speak impressively what they think and feel. In order to facilitate the students to acquire such good communicating skills, the founder of the school His Divine Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji wishes AVM students to be great debaters. Hence, the teachers of the English Department of Atmiya Vidya Mandir have started a Debating Club for the students of VI to XII Std.

The registered student members of this AVM Debating Club are divided in many groups to participate in the club activities which allow the students to socialize and build friendships with teammates while collaborating and sharing ideas. Club members are trained by the English teachers to build their individual abilities to reason and employ analytical thinking as they strive to understand all the possible arguments about the topic. The activities of this Debating club are scheduled in such a way that students are trained and taught about all aspects of debating skills. Under this Debating Club, teachers guide students to learn the art of public speaking and critical thinking. While discussing and debating current events, they brainstorm ideas and utilize their research skills to dig up relevant information about the week’s topic. Facilitators/teachers help students develop position statements, supporting arguments, and rebuttals.

Teachers train students to think analytically, abide by debate rules, and become comfortable with friendly discussion in a virtual environment. The first training session with the introduction module was held in the second week of July in which Seema Madam introduced the club to debating. It was an interactive session with activities and a spectacular audio-visual presentation. In the second session Prabhudarshan Sir taught the students Assertion-Reasoning-Evidence, commonly known as A-R-E for debates. Students were benefitted with many rules and procedure of debating and communicating ideas through this module. The third session was conducted by Nikhil Sir in which he taught students how to write and deliver a speech with respect to debates. It ended with a very apt example from the movie Julius Caesar - Speech by Marc Anthony to the Romans on death of Caesar. It was followed by training and practice of research skills by Prajval Sir. In the next training session, Chirag Sir explained the students how to refute and respond the verbal attack in a Debate. In this manner, through different modules and training sessions, students will be trained and taught the skills and art of debating by English Teachers.

Fukuda (2003), in a debate study conducted with Japanese students, found that "before the debates only 30.8% of the students were not afraid of expressing their opinions when they were not the same as others'. After the debate this figure rose to 56.7%." AVM teachers believe that the knowledge or skills which came from the practice in the debates lead the students to become more accustomed to expressing opinions. This suggests that, although debating can be challenging, through debating skills, students can help themselves to further develop their communicative skill. Students of AVM have a lot of contributing practical reasons for being the part of Debating Club and getting involved with debate. Learning how to prepare a speech will probably improve their marks in English essays. Learning about political issues and current affairs will help them in Social Studies.

For all these advancement and achievement, the ultimate inspiration is this Quote: “My Favourite activity in school was debating. I picked the side of the motion last which meant which was unpopular. I did this because it required a lot of thinking”. P.P. Swamishree