On Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 and Wednesday, 4th June 2014 the Jawaharlal Nehru Inter School Declamation Contest for Hindi and English, respectively was held in the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, between 22 schools from all over U.A.E.
The much-awaited Hindi declamation started off with the performance of a prayer song by the students of 7 and 8 girls, choreographed by Mrs. Meena Shankar and proceeded to the introduction of the judges, Mr. Pradeep Laljani, Mrs. Asha Chand and Mrs. Ruchi Sanghvi, whose presence made the event all the more special. The rules for the day were established and the show down began.
Each participating school provided one junior and one senior contestant to represent their schools through a speech, lasting for 3 minutes.
The junior category who received the topic: यदि मै अदृश्य हो सकती (If I could be invisible….), got off to a very interesting start, with every student having a very different view on acquiring invisibility. While some students focused on the more humorous elements, others took a more serious route. The young contestants left many quite surprised at their command over the Hindi language.
Sakshi Chandak, the IHS representative of the junior category was quite confident after her speech. “I think my speech went quite. Now all I can do is wait!” “This is so exciting….! But I’m so nervous.” said Huma Sultan Siddique from Our Own English High School, Al Ain.
Meanwhile, Harshita Ahuja of OOEHS, Sharjah, voiced her thoughts regarding the audience, “They seem very happy and interested in all the speeches and also seem to supporting all the schools.” While a few students succumbed to their nerves, others came through with beautiful speeches.
After a 30 minute break, the contestants category were all geared up for their turn in the spotlight with the topic: यह मधुमय देश हमारा (Our beautiful country). Shreya R.S of OOEHS,Fujairah, had quite a happy face after her captivating speech, “I did my best. I hope that’s enough to win…”
The sophistication of the senior speeches, as compared to the junior category, did not go unnoticed. Their mind-blowing speeches managed to catch everyone’s attention and also got the audience expressing their views on the topic.
The audience had nothing but praise for those onstage. “All the participants really know how to draw the crowd…….And their so confident !” said Ashana Patale, a 10th grader of IHS. “Impressive. All of them are so young and they all speak so well.” added Lisa Jacob. Mrs. Sonia, the resident French teacher of the girls section shared her thoughts about the event, “It’s a wonderful contest, but the only problem is that I cannot understand since their Hindi is so good………But I’m really enjoying it!”
After all the speeches, the students were treated to a colourful dance performance, choreographed by Mrs.Shylaja.
The esteemed judge Mr.Pradeep Laljani came on stage to appreciate the contestants, as wel as the audience, “First of all I’d really like to give a loud round of applause to all the brave speakers who came here and gave wonderful speeches and also to everyone in the audience, who responed with such vigour.”
After a whole day of waiting, the results of the contest were finally announced.
- JUNIOR CATEGORY:-
First Postion :
- Shreya R.S (OOEHS, Fujairah)
- Harshita Ahuja ( OOEHS, Sharjah)
Second Position :
- Sakshi Chadan ( IHS )
Third Postion :
- Ishaani Mohit Das ( Abu Dhabi Indian School )
- SENIOR CATEGORY:-
- Harsha (Abu Dhabi Indian School)
- Fiza Iqbal (OOEHS,Sharjah)
- Trisha ( OOEHS,Fujairah)
- Bushra (OOEHS,Dubai)
- Muskan Sharim ( The Millenium School)
- Shreya ( IHS )
While all schools did their best, the winners of the overall category was Our Own English High School, Sharjah and Our Own English High School, Fujairah.
The next day, the Jawaharlal Nehru English Declamation Contest commenced at 8am with the junior category, whose speeches were based on the topic: “WHAT MAKES ME TRULY HAPPY..”
The judge, Mrs Rashmi Menon, Mrs Babylatha Nair and Ms.Natasha Kishore, ex-students of IHS, appeared quite excited and were looking forward to a day of interesting speeches.
Ravalli Athivilli of IHS, said that her speech focused on the meaning of happiness, “ Happiness is a state of mind, not material things.” Catherine Lona from The Indian Excellent School says, “Everyone helped me prepare for this event…….. my mom, my teachers, I even took some tidbits from the Internet.”
Every contestants humorous twist on the idea of true happiness really captured the audience.
When asked about what makes her happy, Mrs.Mamta Sharma, a teacher of IHS said, “The smiling faces of my students is what makes me happy…”
The senior speeches began after a song performance by the choir, trained by Mr.Philip.
Sai Sindhu Suresh of JSS Private School said, “I am a bit nervous, especially since the topic is so twisted. The two points are so contrasting…..” The topic: “CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” proved to quite an engaging one. Fatima Haji of Abu Dhabi Indian School said, “I spoke about whatever came to my heart. I just hope I win.”
“I am confident about my speech, but truth is, it all depends on the other speeches.” Said Sameeksha Ameen of IHS.
All students tried to express their views regarding the topic and came up with fascinating and thought-provoking theories.
After another round of singing by the school choir, the judges took turns to speak on their thoughts regarding the students’ performance.
Mrs. Babylatha Nair said, “The juniors were good, but the seniors performed slightly better. The schools have prepared quite well and are very organized.”
“This is a super cool experience and it is an amazing idea to call ex-students to judge various events.”, said Ms. Natasha Kishore.
Mrs. Rashmi Menon said, “This a very gratifying experience and an amazing platform for all students. Everyone has done a wonderful job!”
And on a hilarious note, Siddiqua Mujawar of The English Speaking School, Dubai took a “selfie” with the whole auditorium from atop the stage, saying that she never wanted to forget this day.
After a long wait, the students finally got to know whether their hard work had paid off.
- JUNIOR CATEGORY:–
- Krishna ( OOEHS,Fujairah)
- Alena Liji ( DPS,Sharjah)
- Snigdha ( Abu Dhabi Indian School)
- Eiman ( Gulf Asian School )
- Abhirami ( Leader’s Private School )
- SENIOR CATEGORY:-
- Akshaya ( OOEHS,Fujairah )
- Sameeksha Ameen ( IHS )
- Siddiqua Mujawar ( The English Speaking School )
- Afreen Ahmed ( OOEHS,Sharjah )
The announcement of the overall winners gained a huge cheer, with the first, second and third positions being taken by Our Own English High School, Fujairah, Delhi Private School, Sharjah and The Indian High School, Dubai, respectively.
With a response like this, there’s no doubt that the Jawaharlal Nehru Declamation Contest is going to keep on growing bigger and better every year and provide a platform for students of all ages to showcase their creativity.
By Natasha Noushad and Ashlesha Patale
Junior Reporters of Light House