While I was designing the e-invite for Independence Day celebration at Prayas Vidalaya, I felt it
would be like many-many Independence Day functions that I have attended during school days. And
when the day arrived, I witnessed it to be true to an extent only. The decoration could say for itself
that it was some national day celebration with tricolor display almost everywhere. Post flag hoisting, the cultural event started. As we feel it auspicious, it started with Saraswati Vandana,followed by dance performances by students of different classes. The dance performances included Rajasthani dance, bollywood numbers (not very surprisingly Honey Singh’s number), classical among others.
While this all was so usual, the whole environment looked and felt so unusual. The event took place inside the community, not in any ground or hall but on the passage. The passage was covered with tents and a raised platform was made to give it a look of the stage. Dari was spread all along to facilitate sitting arrangement. The most expected audience- students, teachers & volunteers were all seated at their designated places. However they seemed like only a subset of actual audience present there. There were babies, kids, men, women and older people all over the place- on stairs, in shops, on roofs, on steps, even around the stage (so much so, they were repeatedly requested to let others also see the performances) and every possible place. As if everyone wanted to witness the change that was happening in the community.
A student of class 4th gave a speech in English; clearly none of them understood even a word but the clap was way louder. For them, kid from their community was doing something not thought of some years back.Students of different classes were dancing confidently in fancy clothes and jewellery (much impressed with self-designed jewellery) left them joyful. At that moment, I felt this is a true celebration of Independence Day. For they have seen the change, from the time when no kid used to go to school to a time when many-many of the kids are dressed in school uniform every morning.
Though it’s a slow process, education gives you a strong platform to enjoy each day as a true
Independence Day !!
By : Shikha Mahajan