By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 23 Nov: The Nanhi Dunya Platinum Jubilee Celebration culminated with the ‘One World’ dance and drama performance staged at the Nanhi Dunya Vikas Nagar School. This school is one of the nine centres of the movement, which completed 62 years in the service of children and environmental education on 20 November.
The Centre, founded in 1960, includes a school from KG to class 8, and runs many activities for children including – The Rangshala, Nrityashala and the Bal Sabha specifically focused on serving the young ones of classes 9 to 12. There are 170 children from the age group of 3 to 17 years attending the Vikasnagar Educational Centre.
The Nanhi Dunya Bal Utsav in Vikasnagar was attended by over 400 guests. The Chief Guest was Vikasnagar MLA Munna Singh Chauhan.
In his speech on the occasion, he declared, “I entered this beautiful campus full of greenery and when I met the community here, I felt that Nanhi Dunya is not just a little world but a world in itself. The spirit of the campus and the loving children have made a wonderful impression on me. It gives a very positive feeling to be here. Being in a responsible position, I travel form one place to another, from school to school. There is so much to learn and share with society. I must say that Nanhi Dunya is beyond my imagination. Here I see the children are healthy and growing in a holistic environment, which is magnificent.”
He expressed confidence that the children would have a great future and are strong enough to take on any challenges in the world.
On the occasion, the children of Nanhi Dunya, staged a performance, a musical journey depicting world cultures, beautifully.
MLA Chauhan felt it was a highly expressive performance full of energy and vigour. On many occasions, he became emotional and joyful on witnessing the wonderful synergy. He particularly liked their slogan, “Happy-Happy! Bache-Bache!” He congratulated the Choreographer and Director, Satvika Goyal, and her team, for creating the outstanding show.
He asked the adults present, “What are we doing with children? Are we training our children to become machines for corporations and the mechanical world, or are we helping to develop sensitive, caring, compassionate, loving and truly educated human beings? Our personalities are becoming fake; we are beings not machines. I plead with you not to encourage children to become addicted to artificial intelligence and screen entertainment. They should play and live real lives.”
He added, “Many ambitious parents and teachers force children to swallow extensive curricula and achieve academic success. Instead of helping them live their dreams, we try and block these dreams. Intellectual development is necessary but not without good values and sensitivity towards each other and the Earth. It is often said that mother is the first teacher in our life, but I would like to take the liberty to say that Nature is our first teacher. Please don’t let technology replace our life.”
He exhorted the children to play freely, make mistakes. He urged the elders not to steal their childhood.
“When we try to force them to become adults,
We impede their growth. Children spend long hours at school and when they come back they have to go to tuitions and spend long hours in front of the screens. Some children become addicted to phones and screens. Many begin to take drugs in isolated rooms. We have to be watchful of such lonely children,” he appealed.
He said that Nanhi Dunya, being a pioneering movement, needed generous support from society and promised he would do everything possible to further the initiative.
The Chief Guest also presented gifts to the children and teachers.
Alok Ulfat, the Chief Education Co-coordinator of the Movement, said that Nanhi Dunya believes in gradual and natural development of children. Active learning and first-hand experience is what makes great leaders. “We learn from activities and festivals,” he declared. “We are deeply connected to the Earth. At Nanhi Dunya, we learn with the natural rhythm of each child. The individual (indivisible) matters more than the mass. Let’s help in creating seekers and not blind followers. We have realised that the children can gather information through force but those children who learn through experiencing life and active learning become authentic and good leaders. Nanhi Dunya is work in progress and many beautiful things will happen here.”
The event celebrated the culmination of Nanhi Dunya Movement’s Rainbow Platinum Jubilee, which began with the Foundation Day on 17 November, 2021, in Dehradun and has been engaging children of the region.
Kiran Goyal, the Chief Promoter of the Nanhi Dunya Movement, expressed gratitude to all present. She also praised Head Mistress Urmila Thakur and all the teachers, and Satvika for her wonderful dance-drama presentation; all school children, as well as members of the Board of Trustees. Kathy Kavanagh from Australia, Alok Jain, Vijay Goyal, Col Ravindra Mahrotra and many senior members and parshads of Vikas Nagar were present.