Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar

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FLAWLESS FLAWS

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flawless Our school Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar has a tradition of adopting social issues and make a difference in society through them. In the year 2015, we launched a campaign called 'Flawless Flaws' in support of acid attack survivors. Through our campaign we envision to make school students sensitive and empathetic towards acid attack survivors. We want to act as a bridge between survivors and the society as most of the victims of this brutal crime, which is much graver in its impact than a rape, have isolated themselves after losing parts of their body which are irreplaceable. We don’t want them to be discriminated against, at least at school level and want everyone starting from school children to stand up against 
such crimes. The students of class IX-XI have been working on this project and have been guided by Acid Attack Survivors Foundation India. The project has been led by Sakshi Agarwal of XII-B and Sandeed Farooq of X-C as the presidents of this campaign. Acid Survivors Foundation India has been training students from classes IX-XI to be peer mentors, who have presented an informative ppt in front of the teachers as well as students from classes VII-XI. We also have a fund generation event during our PTMs where we sell articles made by our students to generate funds. We have also set up a board in our school to spread awareness about acid attacks and to keep our students updated.

For presentation, click here

The team was invited by Shiv Nadar School , Gurugram, in Januay 2017 to talk to its students about the the plight of acid attack survivors. The team shared their experience of starting and nurturing the campaign through the years . The talk was well received and the students showed keenness to partner and start a similar campaign in their school

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Fundraising stall put up by Flawless Flaws team at Vasant Kunj on 26 December 2016

 

 Performance by nukad natak team at Mahila Panchayat at Sangam Vihar on 16 December 2016

To mark the anniversary of one of the darkest day of our country's history.The Nirbhaya episode is the lowest that humanity could possibly sink to. To mark the day, our Flawless flaws nukkad natak team performed at a Mahila Panchayat at Sangam Vihar.

 

In November 2016, our team met Ms Swati Maliwal, Chief of The Delhi Commission for Women and shared our concern on instances of acid attacks and the need to eliminate the menace.  The comission has now joined hands with our Campaign to visit Mahila Panchayats and raise awareness through  our Nukkad Nataks. We also urge the women in these urban villages to stop using acid as a cleaning agent because unless the usage is stopped, the easy availability will not stop. The team has, since , interacted with Mahila Panchayats in Chattarpur and Sangam Vihar.

 

 Students of Art Society put up a stall for selling hand made products to raise money for school's charitable project 'Flawless Flaws' on 16 September 2016

 

 Handing over the donation money to the acid attack survivors by Dr. Hariprasad Kanoria,Chairman Acid Survivors Foundation India on 29 August 2016

 

Ashoka Youth Venture Program held at Ashoka Innovators for Public Office in Bangalore from 27-28 May 2016

Sandeed Farooq of class X C and Sakshi Agarwal of class XII B were selected for the Ashoka Youth Venture program after an extensive online selection procedure, in which innovators between the age group of 12 to 20 from all over India were invited to present their ideas relating to social change, to an esteemed panel in Bangalore. The panel was between 27 and 28 May 2016 and held at the Ashoka Innovators for Public Office in Bangalore.

Ashoka is an organisation functional in about 80 countries across the world, with a tradition of not just identifying but also supporting visionaries with their budding ventures. Moreover, Ashoka fellows have been spreading social awareness and been promoting social entrepreneurship globally for over 35 years.

The first day of the program was fun filled with engaging activities and story telling sessions. While these were taken by different staff members of Ashoka, participants went to pitch their ideas to an esteemed panel, which consisted of Dr. Gyanendra Archaya, Director, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences,Karon Shaiva, Chief Impact Officer & Managing Director, Idobro, who is a social entrepreneur, columnist, writer, lecturer, speaker and trainer, and Aditi Parekh, Co-founder of Student Think Tank India and Current Ashoka Youth Venturer.

The day was kicked off with an introduction about Ashoka’s philosophy by Mr. Yashveer Singh, the head of the Youth Venture Program. Throughout the day the participants were kept engaged by members from Ashoka’s team who were from diverse countries and backgrounds. The activities that were conducted were extremely different from each other, however the final learning from each activity was about the critical aspects of change making or as Ashoka puts it- EACH: Everyone A Change-maker . Ms Trina Talukdar conducted a storytelling session, where the emphasis was on how an idea that might seem irrational and crazy can be revolutionary if in the hands of a person who is passionate for its cause. Ms Mary Rose Abraham conducted a workshop on free writing, which helped the participants contemplate about how to transform their idea into words in the best possible way. Mr Raghav Khemka pushed the participants to their wit’s end through a brainstorming session on innovation and novel ideas. Ms Emily Lamb engaged the students in an activity that highlighted the importance of communication, teamwork and adaptability while working on a venture, through a fun ‘bridge making’ activity. Ms Shevika Mishra talked about Change-maker schools and how it is essential for educational institutions to not just provide the students with knowledge from books but an education that teaches them problem solving, compassion and communication. The day was called off after Mr Sunish Jauhari made the students realise how each problem is surrounded by people and in fact, arises because of their presence, and hence the importance collective workmanship and empathy, while also ensuring the victims themselves are engaged in problem solving.

Ms Silindile Mlilo welcomed the participants on the second day and commenced the day with an ice breaking activity between the students. All the participants were worried about the sustainability of their projects and how to keep the project going even if they disassociated themselves with their project; Mr Vishnu Swaminathan ended this dilemma by teaching the participants how to replicate their idea, and ensure systemic and framework change. The rest of the day was spent in social interactions, brainstorming for ideas between the participants, sharing experiences while working, and networking with Ashoka’s staff. The participants also had simultaneous media interactions and interviews about their experiences, inspirations and learning. The day was called off with closing statements by the three panelists who lauded the participants’ work and congratulated all of them for taking the first step towards successful social entrepreneurship.

At the end of the two days all participants were more energized than ever to continue working not just on their own ventures but collaborate with fellow participants and help one another. With all students waiting eagerly for the results and with a hope of becoming an Ashoka Fellow, some of them will make it and some won’t, however none took that as a reason to stop working on their ventures relentlessly, something even the judges emphasized on in their last words to the participants. With a stronger circle of like-minded people, the participants are taking steps towards global change slowly yet steadily.

 

Ashoka Youth Venture third cohort held on 05-06 August 2016

The Ashoka Youth Venture is a program by Ashoka, an organisation spreading social change and social entrepreneurship for over 3 decades now. The Ashoka Youth Venture identifies young social changemakers and social entrepreneurs and gets them together to support them and nurture their skills. Ashoka is involved in building a community of leaders and changemakers. Having already conducted two cohorts to identify social changemakers, Ashoka organised their third cohort on August 5th and 6thwith adolescents from all over India come to participate.

Sandeed Farooq of class X C, an Ashoka Youth Venturer was invited to be a part of the panel of this cohort. Having already been through the process himself, it was indeed a novel experience for him to be a panelist instead of a participant this time. He was the only representative of the Ashoka Youth Venture Community and was on the panel along with Mr Kaushalendra Kumar, Miss Runa Mitra and Miss Lynn McGuire Raj, all working closely for social change in the agricultural, industrial and creative sphere  respectively.

The experience was an educating and enlightening experience for him as well as gave an insight into new ideas for the Flawless Flaws campaign. One of his greatest learnings was understanding the definition of privelege and how the so-called priveleged people have a lack of concern towards resources and rhe society. Having participated in the third cohort he anticipates to be involved in the future cohorts in some way or the other too.

 Spreading the campaign in the joyful city of Kolkata from 25 March 2016 to 30 March 2016 

Fourteen students accompanied by Ms. Uma Chopra got an opportunity through ASFI  to visit Kolkata from 25 March 2016 to 30 March 2016. The purpose of the trip was to create awareness about the campaign and plight of the acid attack victims. 

Students visited several prestigious spots of the city, including the humongous Howrah Bridge, Millennium Park, and Belur Math, and drove past the others, like the oldest ghat, Baboo Ghat, the Governor's house, and the State Assembly of West Bengal. The highlights though were undoubtedly the two places closely associated with the mystical figure who has enchanted not just the east but also the west with his thoughts and ideas, Rabindranath Tagore. Visiting Shantiniketan, where the belief of education without four walls came true was truly a revelation. The second was Jorasanko Thakurbari, Tagore’s home, where he breathed his first and last. Having been turned into a museum, it once again breathes life into the house with several of Tagore’s works and paintings on display. It also familiarises one with the legacy of the Tagore family.

But amidst all these wonderful sights, students didn’t lose their purpose  to perform nukad naataks  to generate awareness about acid attacks. The campaign successfully increased its sphere of influence with students  performing at several venues, including market places, the Metropolis mall and the Gaudiya Math fair. Posters were put up and pledge forms signed, but most importantly, conversations sparked with  audience members, as their curiosity led them to know more about our project . Both the play and the efforts towards building a better society, were applauded by all. 

Students also had the great honour of showcasing  performance and presentation at the Bethune College and La Martiniere School for Girls, two extremely venerable educational institutes of Kolkata. The response couldn’t have been better, with the students of La Martiniere even showing the willingness to continue to support our initiative in the future.

Perhaps, the most crucial performance was at the Vivekananda Hall with Mr. Kanoria, Chairman of ASFI present. Here too, the hard work bore fruits. Mr. Kanoria was flowing with praise and offered to record the students’ performance  and produce 20,000 copies of it to be sent to government officials! The team was also felicitated with a memento as an appreciation for their humane efforts.

 

 

 

 Photo Booth set up at Winterlude 2015--school fete on 19 December 2015 

 

 

 Handing over the donation money raised for acid attack survivors to the National Head of ASFI, Mr. Rahul Verma
on 24 November 2015
 

Mr. Rahul Verma, National Head (ASFI), visited our school on 24 November 2015 to interact with the student-members of Flawless Flaws.

Sandeed Farooq and Neha Thadani showcased all the activities taken up by their team in their endeavor to create awareness and raise funds to help the acid survivors for their treatment. The Nukkad Natak team also performed in front of the survivors and the team from ASFI.

Mr. Rahul Verma appreciated and encouraged our students for taking the first and such bold steps towards a sensitive issue. The donation cheques for the treatment of the acid survivors were presented by Ms. Madhulika Sen to the survivors. This meeting spurred members of ‘Flawless Flaws’ to become more determined and motivated and work with enthusiasm in the future also.

 

 

 Students of Art Society put up a stall for selling hand made products to raise money for schools charitable project 'Flawless Flaws' on 31 October 2015 
 
 NINAAD-- a cultural presentation in support of acid attack survivors was staged by Tagoreans on 31 October 2015 

On 31 October 2015  ‘ NINAAD’ a three hour cultural festival was presented  by  the students and teachers of Tagore International School, as a fund raising event by ‘FLAWLESS FLAWS. The representatives from ASFI and PVR, were also present. The members of the Project shared their endeavor to create awareness of the plight of survivors in India and help the survivors. The mood in the auditorium became heavy. The parents were pleasantly surprised and greatly impressed. Everyone appreciated, the steps taken by the students, with moist eyes. 

Two acid attack survivors, Nasrin and Chandrahas, also shared the struggle in their lives. PVR generously offered a donation of Rs. One Lakh for this noble cause. A donation box was also kept in the school grounds for collecting money. Parents willingly contributed in this Fund-Raising Event . 

The mesmerizing show began with the lighting of the auspicious lamp. The determination to bring in a change, in the mindset of the people, was clearly visible in each performance which was brilliantly thought-out and executed. The compeering by Sandeed and Manasthu  too, had the audience in splits of laughter. The fest was a huge success. It was a culmination of determination, talent and the true spirit of Tagoreans - ‘AHAM YOGYA ASMI’.

For video, click here
 

Students presented Nukkad Natak at Shadipur slum on 28 October 2015

 

 Students gave presentation and performed Nukkad Natak at Tagore International School, East of Kailash and spread awareness for acid attack survivors on 12 October 2015 

 Visitors and parents signed Pledge Forms extending their support for the acid attack survivors 

 
 Students of class X C performed role play on the theme Caring and Sharing and expressed their concern for Acid Attack Survivors on 08 September 2015 

 
 Stalls were put up by the students of Art Society for raising funds for Acid Attack Survivors on the Parent Teaching Meeting days on 25 July and 12 September 2015 respectively. 
 
 Students presented Nukkad Natak in a slum area of Vasant kunj on 21 August 2015 to spread awareness about the heinous crime 

 
Students presented Nukkad Natak during Investiture Ceremony on 14 August 2015
 Students presented Nukkad Natak at Delhi Haat for creating awareness for acid attack survivors on 08 August 2015 

 

For video, click here

Students performed street play during ORDIN@TRIX 15.0-- an Inter-school computer festival on 04 August 2015

 

 A workshop by Mr. Mukul Verma and Ms. Megha from (ACFI) Acid Survivors Foundation of India on 1st July 2015 on creating awareness among the students of classes IX, X & XI towards the acid attack victims/survivors 
 
 Sensitizing session for the students of class XI by CHHANV- a support centre for acid attack survivors, on 17th April 2015
 
 Class Presentations

Selected students from classes IX-XI give presentations in classes VII-XI to about 700 students and to all the teachers of the school. The students were extensively trained by officials from Acid Survivors Foundation India over a period of about a month so as to be able to give the presentation. The students had to be supplied with vast knowledge which was correct and fact based. The most important aspect of the training was to create empathy in the hearts of our students and to bridge the gap between the survivors and the society starting with students, who would be change makers in the future. Awareness is key in a country like India where one-third of the total worldwide attacks take place annually.