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Waterwise Programme 2018
By Angela Arora
The Waterwise Otago Kindness Programme 2018, an international youth leadership programme on education in sustainable development and compassionate leadership was successfully held in the scenic Bannockburn, Cromwell, New Zealand, from 8th December’18 to 14th December’18. Three secondary school students from the Indian capital New Delhi and a university student from Chennai along with representatives from TERI and MGIEP were given the platinum opportunity to take part in this transformatory programme for young leaders of tomorrow.
Based on the dynamics of the idea “Sharing A Common Future”, this programme focussed on four broad youth oriented subjects- Compassionate leadership:- to lead or co lead and support emerging leaders, to reflect and evaluate performance and respect diversity and practice inclusivity; Sustainability:- to promote and identify ethical practices which are future oriented; Behaviour Change:- to align values, businesses and strategic goals with behaviour;
And, Team work:- to be able to work and communicate effectively in a team, develop a sense of problem solving and act responsibly.
The camp commenced in the Bannockburn Schoolhouse Camp, Cromwell on a very high and spirited note, when the fifteen participating Kiwi students along with their teachers welcomed the Indian contingent in the traditional Maori way, by singing a ceremonial song. This was followed by a introduction, a briefing about the rules of the campsite and procedures of the programme and division of groups for daily chores and team activities. To set the mood right, an array of icebreaking activities were held, to further the introduction between the tertiary leaders and participants of both the countries and make them feel comfortable with each other. Later in the evening an overview of the programme was discussed along with the expectations from the event, leadership styles and worldview of water resources.
The next day, Sunday, 9th December, the team headed towards the Cromwell village and cemetery, to understand the historical context of water availability and usage over the centuries and to gain a larger understanding of death-birth, immigration and life patterns based on water. The students also explored the Cromwell Museum which offered insights on the history of the town. It boasted of art galleries and photographs recording the earliest settlements to the subsequent gold rush and transformation of the geography and variations by the forces of floods and immigration patterns. It left the entire contingent enthralled and temped their curiosity to know more about the region they would study further. This was followed by leadership and team building activities in the camp compound led by tertiary leaders.
Monday, 10th December, was a very exciting one as the team headed towards the Carrick Winery and Central Otago Cherry Farms to understand water availability and patterns of commercial and domestic use. In the Carrick Winery, Mr Francis Hutt, was kind enough to enlighten the students about various ways of water management and drip irrigation in the vineyards, and it was fascinating to know that it took about 2.5 litres of water to manufacture a litre of wine. Later on the students toured the area, saw how this special Kiwi wine used only recycled material in its packaging. Another thing that caught the attention of the team was the barrels used for storing wines, that came from specially procured French wood. It forced the entire audience to ponder over how much natural resources go in producing even naturally derived products, and what is actually the cost of forests being cleared. The next stop were the Cherry farms. And it actually was an eye opener to learn that around 70,000 litres of water was made available to them virtually for free. The team asked a variety of questions, ranging from the sustainability of the crop to the profit margin and final impact on the environment. It was an unique experience, as it offered a new perspective on the future of farming and its impact on the future generations.
In the afternoon, the students were pleasantly surprised to be able to do voluntary service for the Mokihi Trust. The Kiwi and Indian students were pretty excited to do the restoration project which involved watering, mulching, track work etc. Putting in so much of physical effort was excruciating but it felt amazingly good when the task was completed as it was a small gift from the budding leaders to the environment. Mr Mike Barra from the Mokihi Trust was very graceful in his words of acknowledgement and gratitude and he told the children that this little effort would go a long way in making a difference.
In the evening after all the physical work, a moving video on the disrupted migration pattern of the Long fin eel was seen, which prompted to raise the question, ‘is being a follower, a part of being a leader?’.
Tuesday, the 11th of December was a relatively colder day, and the team headed to the Cardrona Valley Catchment, to take a tour of and listen to the members of the Otago Regional Council on resource management and historical water management context. The programme started at the Crown Range Summit, which offered a scenic view of the surrounding catchment. Moving about, exploring the various areas of the catchment and different parts of the river Cardrona, the Otago Regional Council talked about gold mining, irrigation rights, dam permits, the procedure by which cheap water is made available to businesses, impact on farmers, building of storage dams etc. They also touched upon the regional pest plan and the invasive species of Algae. The recreational and community use of the water was also highlighted, and it was interesting to know that the people of the Cardrona valley are entitled to a million litres of water everyday for free of cost. It again posed huge questions of sustainability and pressure exerted on available water resources and how at times we take for granted the gifts of nature bestowed on us. It ended with performing a pH test on the waters of River Cardrona and it was very heartening to see how healthy were the wasters of Cardrona. It ended with a lesson on electrical fishing in the beautiful and serene Lake Dunstan. Mr Richard Lord of the Otago River Council joined the contingent for dinner and answered the various queries posed by the students on water management, availability, the impact of politics on environmental issues and how politicians and active citizens make a huge difference. The tertiary leaders also presented a presentation on behaviour change and socio emotional impact of it on the environment and ideas of sustainable development.
On Wednesday, 12th December, the day started on a very unique and interesting note when the party visited the Central Wormworx Waste Reduction Plant and could witness creative thinking at it's peak. The waste collected from all over the town is converted into useful and nutrient rich compost which is then transferred to different farms to be used as manure. Mr Jillian Sullvian gave a tour of the entire farm and talked about the growing export of worms for their high level of service to the environment. It was intriguing to see how much waste is actually generated and how well can it be utilised to reduce landfills. Worms are truly the futuristic way of managing waste in  a sustainable manner. It was followed by a quick trip to supermarket and a short lecture on the concept  of dry gardening, which  is the  way forward. In the evening the team went for a walk to  the Lake Dunstan, and enjoyed moments of reflection sitting on the cool banks of the lake. The Indian team had a  surprise  planned for everyone, as they cooked authentic Indian cuisine for dinner, dressed up in their traditional attire and danced  on the beats of chirpy Indian Bollywood songs. The Kiwi students were pretty excited to see this cultural presentation and thoroughly enjoyed and  appreciated the show put up by  them. As a token of their immense love, affection and gratitude, the Indians also presented every participant with Indian souvenirs. The cultural event was ended by a sma dance party organized in the kitchen and the singing of a traditional Maori song which was taught by the Kiwi students.
On Thursday, the 13th December,students and teachers alike got a platinum opportunity to actually see how a dam works when they visited the Clyde Dam run by Contact Energy Group where the implications of generating hydroelectricity and the historical context of running and building a dam were discussed. The Contact team gave a holistic tour of the entire dam, and gave a very vivid account of the structural function of the dam and how it actually works to meet the electrical needs of New Zealand. The party was lucky enough to see the mesmerizing water discharge of the dam, which actually looked like a huge artificial waterfall.


Tagore International School, East of Kailash added yet another feather to its cap by winning outstanding recognition at the UN Headquarters, New York, USA for a movie ‘Be There’ made by 21 students of Classes VI to VIII. The movie as an earnest attempted to address the issue of bullying  and  to appeal to teachers and parents to hear the problems faced by children in school and be there with them.

The movie won the prestigious Plural+ Award by UNAOC in 4 categories- Jury Award, Peacemaker Corps Award, Plural+ Chinh India Award and CDI Togo Award.  

The Principal Ms Mallika Preman along with 2 students and a teacher attended the felicitation programme held at the UN Headquarters and received the Awards from Mr. Matthew Hodes, Director, United Nations Alliance of Civilization in a grand ceremony. The young students of the school proved their prowess at working with technology, expressing their opinions through the creative medium of film making.  

Havas Guruhi, Exclusively at TIS, EoK

Tagore International School, East of Kailash had the privilege to host  the Uzbek family music troupe, ‘Havas Guruhi’, on 24 August, 2018.

In a 60 minute performance directed by Ermatov Rustamjon Gulomjonovich, the musical troupe who kept the audience riveted were the lead performer singer and pianist Gulomjanov Khahraman and his siblings Gulomjanova Robiyakhon and Gulomjanov Dostonbek.

Right from the Indian National Anthem to songs spanning the Raj Kapoor era down to the popular numbers in Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, the performance provided a rare opportunity of witnessing a national performance by an international troupe and to partake in an inter-cultural experience.

With a mission to promote cultural exchanges and people to people relations between Uzbekistan and India, the troupe that is the winner of several international contests, kept the audience enthralled in the school auditorium.


Eight students of our school went to China for 2018’Joy Dancing Beijing” Cultural and Art Exchange Week of International Youth from 9 to 19 August, 2018. Youth art troupes from 10 different countries as well as China’s 31 provinces, showcased their skills in several art performances. On the first day Chinese and International youth were welcomed in the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium and the Renmin University.  The students performed in Beijing Nature History Museum, opening ceremony of “Star Shining Dalian” and the opening ceremony of Panjin Red Beach International Youth Art Festival. They also got to know about Beijing by visiting historical sites like Great Wall of China and Summer Palace. They enjoyed visiting the Golden pebble beach and the Discovery World Amusement park in Dalian. The group also visited The Jade Buddha Temple, People Square, Old Yuyuan Garden and the Bund in Shanghai. Everyone was mesmerized by the View of the city from Huangpu River cruise. This was a great experience for our students to interact with their counterparts from other countries, that enriched them culturally.

A Trip to Italy

The Giffoni International Film Festival is one of the most well-known children’s film festivals in the world. It takes place in a small Italian town of Giffoni Valle Piana in  Southern Italy, close to Salerno and Naples. Every year over 2,000 children attend the festival from several countries around the world. During the festival, children and teenagers watch the movies, learn about the filmmaking process, and are called to judge them and award the best ones with prizes. This 44-year-old festival has had a great impact in the history of entertainment and culture, not only in Italy, and it has developed a high reputation internationally. Every year the festival attracts 100,000 guests, directors, producers, and movie stars annually. The festival has been brought to many different countries around the world with Poland, Argentina, Australia, Albania, China, Korea, India, and the United States having all hosted their own versions of the Giffoni Film Festival. 

This year 5 Students (Isha Kaushik, Jasmine Jetly & Khushpreet Singh from class XI and Dhruv Khanna & Rohan Sharma of class IX) from Tagore International School, East of Kailash along with Ms. Jayalakshmi (Computer Science Teacher) got the opportunity to participate in the festival as the Jury member. They went to Italy on the 19th of July 2018 and returned to India on 31st July 2018. In the festival students watched many films made by the upcoming directors and met many movie stars like Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Josh Hutcherson etc . They also participated in the discussions, review sessions and gave their interviews to the media. Students got the opportunity to meet lots of students of other countries and learnt about different their  lifestyles, cultures and values.

They also visited Rome and Vatican City for a day. In Rome they visited the Colosseum, Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps and in Vatican City they visited the Saint Peter's Basilica.

Overall the trip was a memorable one and the students got lots of good memories and new friends from the trip.

A Trip to Australia

Tagore International School, East of Kailash won the video competition “Film Fly Experience Australia ”   based on the theme Cyber Security and modern-day threats. The competition was organized by Australian Trade and Investment Commission in collaboration with HDFC Credila.

The competition was open to  schools across India .Total of 539 schools registered for the same. Our school also participated and the video made by our students Naman Verma and Gunjan Roy of Class XII under the guidance of Computer Science PGT Ms. Shikha Shah got selected in the finals. As a award Students and teacher got chance to visit Sydney, Australia and stay at Macquarie University for one week between may 28,2018 to June 2, 2018.

It had been a wonderful experience of visiting Macquarie University. Winners from other Asian countries along with our students got real time experience of studying in the university. Students participated in many programmes at the University . They got chance to visit Taronga Zoo, Manly beach and watch Vivid Sydney which is a festival of light and  music.

Students found  Macquarie a great place to study which had an ambience required for developing creative minds of the students. It had excellent infrastructure , versatility in courses and brilliant teaching staff.