What does Independence Day mean to adults in modern India? Well, that’s a very precarious question to ask as we see only negativity all around us such as news showcasing all bad stuff about the nation & scandalising it. Like the recent events of a complete shutdown of the Parliament House & especially in front of the Bhutanese delegation which came to see the functioning of the Parliament, the image of India would have taken huge backward strides.
There are many such instances which would bring very little optimism in us adults on this Independence Day.We can only hope for things to get better & stay positive.
But that’s not the same with children who are not influenced or exposed to the negativity surrounding them. They are very patriotic & want to do something for the nation. They look at Independence Day as a celebration & joyous occasion to pay tribute to all those who were instrumental in bringing freedom for us.
Well, the Independence Day celebrations at Jwalamukhi( www. Jwalamukhi. org) was no different where all the children had a very enjoyable experience along with making promises to the late President APJ Abdul Kalam & the nation & also taking part in various engaging & fun filled activities.
Below is the roundup of what happened at the Independence Day celebrations @ Jwalamukhi!!
The event started off on a slightly serious note with the children being told the importance of Independence Day & a special mention was given to the freedom fighters who brought us Independence. Post which , the children were asked to tell something about Independence Day & to express their patriotism. They were very enthusiastic & gave many good answers like they wanted to become like Mahatma Gandhi & how they wanted to improve the nation by changing themselves & the society around them.
Next up, to lighten the mood , a game was played called “ Pass the Clap’ wherein the children were asked to pass on the clap to the one standing immediately next to them & make sure that the claps were synchronized with one another. It was fun game where the children enjoyed it a lot as they felt there was competition between the other children & that motivated them to perform better & and also they learnt how to synchronize & work in tandem with other team members in order to win the game!
Then, two motivational videos followed the game which lightened the mood of the children. First was an inspirational video about the Real Heroes ie the Indian Army titled “Don’t Mess with Us” which instilled pride & patriotism in the minds of the children which was then followed by an inspirational video called “ I am the Change”.
Where the first video taught the children how to be patriotic & how to feel proud of the Indian soldiers & at the same time respect them for the amazing service they do in protecting us, the second video showcased to them that they could be the change they want to see. Right from not littering the streets, to following traffic rules to not paying bribes , such small changes could go a long way in helping create a better nation.
Post these two motivational videos, the children were shown a slide indicating various positive affirmations which included various inspirational quotes. The children were asked one by one to read one quote each to everyone present there. They then were asked to pick one quote which they could relate to personally & provide examples for that.
There was one example which one child gave which stood out for me. He spoke about the quote “ I am a positive influence on others’ , for which the example he gave was that in a ground near their house there used to be many people who used to throw garbage on the road despite a dustbin being kept at the ground.
So, when they noticed a BBMP garbage cleaner, they bravely went up to them & asked them to clean the garbage & throw them in the dustbin. He also said that if BBMP officials themselves don’t follow these rules then what’s the point of us citizens voting for them? Kudos to that child!! Well said indeed!!
We all know how much the late President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was loved by all sections of society & people of various ages so much so that when he passed away recently, many school children were present at the time of his funeral.
So, it was rather apt that the children were asked to tell the crowd as what quality they liked in APJ Abdul Kalam. It was indeed amazing to see how the children were inspired by the former president. Many qualities such as his simplicity, humbleness, him being a People’s President etc were told stressing on the importance of that man & how he has inspired children to become better citizens & persons.
Each child was then told to make a promise to themselves which was dedicated to the former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam & which they would work to fulfil earnestly. They were given a deadline of Children’s Day to fulfil the promise they made. The promises were small changes which the children want to make in their personal lives which would help better themselves & also the society around them. The promises included affirmations such as ‘ I will speak the truth always’, ‘ I will study better’, ‘I will follow rules’, ‘ I will not cheat’ & ‘I will not beat my brother/sister or friends’.
The children were told to write their promise & stick it on a board so that they can remember the promise they made & also it would help them in positively working towards achieving the promise they made.
And then, since it being a celebration of Independence Day, there was a small quiz conducted where the children were asked to identify the freedom fighters on the screen & some events relating to the freedom struggle. It was a pretty engaging quiz & it opened up couple of children who were very much quite throughout the event which was good to see.
This was followed up by a talk on the upcoming BBMP elections where the children were informed about the importance of voting the right corporator across the political spectrum for their locality. Since they themselves can ‘not vote, they were asked to positively influence 5 adults who will be voting to vote for the right person. For that , they were given 5 wrist bands which they would tie in the hands of the people they would speak to regards to this.
The celebration of Independence came to a joyful, happy end with the children dancing to a medley of patriotic songs such as Jai Ho & Vande Mataram choreographed by my aunt Vijaya , which was followed by open floor dancing by the kids to other patriotic film songs. It was really great to see all the children participating & performing the dance steps perfectly well & and also in the end we got to see the naughtiness of the children when they formed a pyramid as part of their dance!! Very good indeed!!
To sum it up, it was very informative, engaging & fun filled event which was enjoyed a lot by the children & everyone else present at the event!!