On August 2, 2018 Lucknow Public School, Vinamra Khand branch organized the 1st Shri Ram Lal Memorial inter-school swimming championship. In this inter-school competition, many prestigious schools participated. Lucknow Public School, City Montessori School (Gomtinagar, Chowk, and Kanpur road branch), The Millennium, La Martiniere School, Study Hall ( Prerna Girls School and Study Hall School) and Seth M.R Jaipuria School. In this inter-school competition, one Of the Prerna Girls Aditi Shukla from Class 6th won the Bronze in G-11 25 M Black Stroke and in G-11 25 M Free Style. Sharing about her experience Aditi Said, “I like spending my spare time around water so I Joined swimming classes in school, after my academic classes. I just did it as a hobby. I never expected to participate in any completion but my coach encouraged me to do so”. She Added, She is very happy after she won and she is now more motivated to learn and win the first prize.
Girls’ education, sexual violence, prison reform, financial inclusion, and disaster relief are issues where the 2018 awardees have developed cost-effective, scalable services.
Dr. Urvashi Sahni, Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF), India is one of the winners of the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Award. She runs the Study Hall Educational Foundation where organization runs a network of nine types of schools and programmes, catering to girls, disabled children, rural youth and children outside the formal school system. To date, the foundation has worked with more than 900 government schools and trained 5,000 government teachers, reaching an estimated 500,000 children.
Talking about the award Dr. Sahni said, “I am very grateful to the Schwab Foundation for the recognition.”
“Social Entrepreneurs leverage the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems in ways that benefit the marginalized and the poor,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson, and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Adding to the point Schwab said, “Their work is often carried out in areas where government and the private sector are unable to achieve meaningful outcomes and involves considerable creativity coupled with pragmatism.”
The 11 organizations and 12 individuals honored in 2018 become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of 350 outstanding social entrepreneurs from around the world. The work of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs is integrated into the World Economic Forum’s events and initiatives aimed at scaling-up market-based solutions for global challenges.
Along with Dr. Urvashi Sahni, 11 other Social entrepreneurs from around the world has been recognized and facilitated. Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Horn of Africa Development Initiative(HODI Kenya, Valdeci Ferreira, The Brazilian Fraternity of Assistance to Convicts (FBAC) Brazil/Latin America, Bas van Abel, Fairphone, Netherlands, Bruktawit Tigabu, Whiz kids workshop from Ethiopia, Sasha Chanoff and Amy Slaughter, RefugePoint, Africa/Middle East, Mike Quinn, Zoona, Zambia/Malawi, Zack Rosenburg, SBP, USA, Tulin Akin, Tabit, Turkey, David Yeung, Green Monday from Hongkong, Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Akhuwat, Pakistan/Uganda/Kenya. Several awardees use the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to provide better outcomes at lower cost.
|Dr. Urvashi Sahni felicitated by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship|
Swimming Competition was organized for Dosti children on 18th Sept 2018. There were twenty plus participants full of enthusiasm. Many events were held such as 25 meters freestyle, 18m with the board, pick and come event and walk race. The winners were as follows Praharsh stood 1st, Tanu Gupta 2nd, and Sambhav 3rd in 25 m freestyle and underwater competition. Vanshika, Rush I, Divye, Vaibhav, Urjit, Ayaan, Radha, Nidhi, Anuoshka, Viraaj were the winners in walk race pick and come event.
The teams were judged not only on their performance but also on their costumes and their stage set up. While the awards for best play and best stage set up were bagged by Study Hall whereas the award for best costume was bagged by The Millennium School. Arundhati Singh, head girl of Study Hall school won the overall best actor award along with the award for best actor in ‘Parched’. To make the show even more memorable, Prerna concluded it with a beautiful self-composed skit.
“A farmer sows a seed in soil and look after it but ultimately it is the sun and the rain which help the seed germinate.”
Parents are like farmers. They send their children to school and bear the necessary cost of education but it is ultimately the teachers who help the young little minds in becoming the future them. They foster and hone their students’ abilities and talents. Teachers play a monumental role in an individual’s life.
A teacher is like a candle kept in a dark room from which light rays emanate and drives out darkness and falsehood.
5th September holds great importance in India among the masses and specially the students. It was the day on which Dr.S. Radha Krishna, the second president of India was born. His birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day across the country.
Students at Study Hall, Gomtinagar, Lucknow celebrated this day with a great zeal. The student council managed the whole function and made sure that everything is carried out in a systematic way. Every possible thing was done to make teachers feel special on this day.
Study Hall has a special custom in which students impersonate their teachers and handle their duties for a day.
The teachers were welcomed at the gate by the members of student council with a thunderous applause following which they were given a card with a special message written for each of them as a token of love and appreciation.
Events were held in the Junior AC hall of the school. The show started at 8.45 am with a band performance. The band did an amazing job and the audience enjoyed the music. It was followed by a cute performance by the junior section. The spectators clapped along as they sang old hits. The performance was well appreciated and it brought a smile on many faces. Every celebration is incomplete without dance. The senior section gave two dance performances on Bollywood numbers which made the onlookers groove and jive to the tune. Next came the much-awaited event- The Ramp show. Over one hundred and fifty teachers participated in this event. Each teacher was escorted by a student who was dressed as him or her. A short skit was staged by the students of class 9th and 10th standard
Lastly game were held in which many teachers took part. The most interesting of all the games was the ‘Dog and the bone’. In this each pair had tocircle around a pen lying on the floor, three times. The pen was supposed to be picked up by one person from each pair. The one who stood first entered the second round and it continued until no pair was left. Mr. Dubey from senior staff and won the game.
After the events were over, the teachers assembled in the staff room where they were addressed by Mrs. Urvashi Sahni, founder of the SHEF foundation. The teachers received presents from the principal and the vice principal. Mrs. MeenakshiBahadur, vice principal, Study Hall School, dedicated a beautiful poem to the founder written by her and the Hindi teachers.
The food committee served breakfast to teachers which was prepared by them with the help from Didis. The teachers appreciated and thanked students for the wonderful efforts.
“Education means enabling the mind to find out that ultimate truth which emancipates us from the bondage of dust and gives us wealth not of things but of inner light, not of power but of love. It is a process of enlightenment. It is divine wealth. It helps in realization of truth”. -Rabindranath Tagore
Teacher help students in this very process of enlightenment. They guide us. They tread with us on our journey to success. They are flowers which bloom in the deepest valleys and yet can be seen from a distance. Their aura is knowledge and their acts are an inspiration. Their love is faithful and their care is genuine. They deserve more than just respect. They deserve our love, affection, and gratitude.
Happy Teacher’s Day.
One group of global experts ranks India as the most dangerous country in the world for girls and women. According to the government, crime against women rose by 83 percent from 2007-2016, with four rapes reported every hour. One in three girls is a child bride—the most in the world. The government estimates that “there are 63 million ‘missing’ women in the country because of sex-selective abortion, as well as 21 million unwanted girls.” The situation is serious and needs urgent attention. more…
That’s term of address all students use for teachers — including the males. The idea is to present an alternative model of masculinity so that the students see their male teachers as caring and nurturing.
Every week, the ‘aunties’ hold a ‘critical dialogues’ session, an open discussion on issues that are very real to students such as domestic violence and street sexual harassment. Some discussions include boys from the nearby Prerna Boys School. Boys and girls are made to calculate how many hours of housework they are each allotted. “When we raise these issues, boys say no one has ever talked to them about what is right and wrong in these situations,” says Prerna principal Rakhi Panjwani.
Teachers offer practical advice, discussing loans, scholarships and the pressure to marry. These discussions also include Prerna alums coming back to relay their success stories and police officers guiding girls on how to file an FIR in cases of domestic violence.
These life lessons go a long way. “We had a 12-year-old student whose friend was being married against her will. She showed up at the baarat and told them to stop or she’d call the cops,” says Panjwani.
They also hold rallies in the communities that the girls belong to once or twice a year. They discuss and spread awareness about issues the girls hold important such as dowry and alcoholism in the family, through street theatre, letter signing campaigns and public oaths.
Girls in Class 8 are asked to make a career plan over two years, and the school offers advice on how to achieve goals. Several Prerna alum have gone on to pursue MBAs and law degrees, and others have become teachers, some of them at the school. As of 2016, 97.4% of their graduates had gone on to pursue higher education.
The confidence comes from the curriculum, from being encouraged to speak out, make eye contact and even laugh loudly. Such is its success that Prerna’s empowerment curriculum has been adopted by 950 schools across UP and Rajasthan. The curriculum is taught to girls once a week in these schools, where the teachers have been trained by Prerna faculty. They are in the process of developing a similar curriculum for boys.
They have also started a local college affiliated with Lucknow University where many students of Prerna enroll to pursue higher education. They offer industryoriented degree courses in fields like journalism and business administration, as well as vocational courses on application development and conversational English. Urvashi Sahni, founding president of the parent organisation of Prerna schools and college Study Hall Educational Foundation, says, “It’s quite remarkable to see that our girls are the smartest and most confident students in the college.”
GIVING PRERNA: Girls are encouraged to speak out, make eye contact and even laugh loudly at Prerna Girls School in Lucknow
“While academic performance is important, we want to create a generation of women with social and political consciousness,” she says.
Chelsey was in Lucknow to visit Study Hall Educational Foundation during an international study tour.
During our travels in India, we spent time in Uttar Pradesh (UP) the most populated state in the country, and Uttarakhand located in Northern India. After our homesteads in Dehradun we traveled to Rishikesh, a city up in the foothills of the Himalayas, and the birth place of yoga. In Rishikesh we saw the ashram the Beatles spent a year and a half at in 1968, dipped our toes in the Ganga, the largest and most holy river in India, and learned about spiritualism at a traditional Hindu aarti. Following Rishikesh we took a 12 hour overnight train to Lucknow, where we finally got our first real glimpse into the gender equality issues faced by young girls and women across the country.
Arriving in Lucknow at 10:00 AM most felt grumpy and groggy after enduring a long and bumpy journey, that in typical Indian fashion, was two hours off schedule. After a quick breakfast, dropping our bags at our hotel and wishing we had time for a nap, we got on the bus and headed to the Study Hall School. I was not prepared for the impact this visit would have on me as we stepped into the school yard. As we walked to our meeting room I saw many faces peeping out to catch a look at the strange group of visitors in their school, most were friendly and waving, and a few had shy smiles. We were led into a large room given a delicious lunch and tea and began to learn all about the Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) from our coordinator Anand.
SHEF is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by Urvashi Sahni, with the mission of providing a quality education and building a “universe of care” to empower students, particularly girls, and help them emerge as women with a perception of themselves as equal and capable individuals. SHEF is comprised of several schools including the Study Hall School, Prerna Girls School, Prerna Boys School, Vidyasthali School, and most recently the Study Hall College. In addition to these schools SHEF works with over 900 schools in Northern India through their Digital Study Hall program, and reaches 5,00,000 children living across the country through the use of teacher training and video lessons. SHEF tackles the most difficult problems facing UP today by integrating developing a social and political consciousness into their curriculum.
SHEF operates by using the revenue from the fee-paying students who attend the highly regarded Study Hall School in the morning, to provide free schooling to the Prerna girls and boys in the afternoon. The Prerna schools are for students coming from low socio-economic backgrounds, most of whom work in the mornings and thus are able to attend school in the afternoons. Currently the Prerna schools host 800 and 165 girls and boys respectively. The Prerna Girls School enables girls to take a feminist stance in their lives by integrating Dr. Sahni’s feminist pedagogy into their daily studies.
During our visit we were able to stop into a Prerna girls’ classroom age 16-18, where they were in the middle of a “critical dialogue” where the girls engage in discussion on topics such as equality, gender, health, etc. That day the girls were talking about what a “good” Indian girl looks like, acts like, etc. They asked us questions about what we thought a “good” American girl was like and they were surprised to find that we both face some of the same gender stereotypes. The girls were very curious what other kinds of issues we face in the U.S. including marriage, harassment, and rape. I was completely blown away by the girls’ maturity, confidence, and passion on these topics.
My admiration for the Prerna Girls and their determination to use their voice only grew when we came back to Study Hall the next day and met with students from Prerna, Study Hall, and Vidyasthali-a rural school outside of Lucknow all in one room. Four Prerna girls preformed a beautiful poem and dance in Hindi and English about girls never really having a place to call home as they are forced out of their homes as girls to be married off to another family. (see below) That day we interacted with all of the students and broke out into groups to have conversations and perform skits for everyone on the topic of equality. Each group had a creative twist on the assignment and addressed issues like gender, economic, and racial inequality.
I was shocked by the Prena girls’ openness to speak on their experiences and humbled by their courage in facing danger when getting to school or even using the toilet at home. Hearing these girls stand up and speak about their fight to avoid forced child marriage at just 15 put my life and my privilege into perspective. I left Study Hall School with not only a new point of view, but also with admiration for the resiliency and hope the students displayed.
In Search of a Home
Written by Prerna and Vidyasthali high school students
From birth to the day we die
We wander this earth in fright
Yet we find no home in sight.
My first world was a pitch black veil
Where I was overcome by a mysterious fear.
But I took comfort in my mother, in her warmth.
Cozy in her womb, my home was here.
As I left this haven, light flooded my eyes
I awaited my new home with utter delight
But I was left with just one thought
Is this new home what I once sought?
From mother’s embrace to father’s I pass
As she says “We are blessed by the gods.”
But as I looked into the faces of others
An unsettling gloom was quickly uncovered.
It wasn’t just a home, but also my playground
Every wall a mural, every rag was a crown.
The outside world called to me,
But inside I remained.
“Outside is not safe for girls,”
I was told everyday.
I am not truly theirs to keep,
So they must keep me safe.
But not to worry, they said,
That I’ll find me my home one day.
My illusions were shattered
and in corners I would weep
As my drunk father ravaged Mother
And threatened her with the street!
And in these moments I wondered,
“How dare he claim this house his own?
When really it is Mother
Who makes this house our home.”
The years went by, I turned sixteen.
Able, now, to understand my plight.
What I once thought was my house to roam
I then knew would never be my home..
Lovely it was, my wedding gown
Ceremonious vanity unmatched
A new journey began, as I bid farewell
And to a new home, unknown, I marched
In corners I heard them whispering
“She has finally found her home”
While my father pled, “Be brave!
“Your next journey shall be ‘til the grave.”
I knew he meant that he’d cut our ties.
What I once thought was home, isn’t mine.
He wanted me to brave the sins
Just as my mother stayed silent for him
I no longer knew which was my home.
Where I grew up? where I was thrown?
I wondered, where was my mother’s home?
I knew deep down that she had none.
As I entered this seemingly welcoming house,
A golden cage that wasn’t golden in the end,
I had the chains back on again
My whole being choked, but not a word I said
I was to them a homemaker
With two homes but none
The homes were made
But my life left undone
On God’s good earth, each has their home.
How can it be, that I have none?
In the end I am left, ripped at the seam.
The world has pushed me too far to dream
But, my dream, a home, I shall claim
Where I am at peace and finally safe
A place to finally call my own.
My final destination, my home.
The Study Hall School under the aegis of Study Hall Educational Foundation organised its biannual art, literary and cultural festival – Chrysalis - from 26 to 28 July 2018.
The highlight of the event was that every Study Hall student from class 6 to class 10 will be participated in some competition or the other. In total 1000 students from Study Hall and over 200 students from other schools like Prerna Girls School, Vidyasthali School Malihabad and Center for Learning will also be joined in.
Art, literary, tech and science model competitions were the highlight of the festival.
The Study Hall School, Gomtinagar held it’s three-day-long cultural fest ‘Chrysalis 2018’ from 26 July, 2018 to 28 July, 2018. It was a grand affair and over one thousand students participated in the event. The fest was the manifestation of Study Hallian principles, values and talent. The theme of Chrysalis 2018 was ‘Changemaking’. The fest was held in the school premises. Over 25 events and competitions were held in the span of 3 days. The competitions were held either inter-house or intra-foundation. The whole Study Hall Foundation took part in the cultural fest. Prerna and Vidyasthali emerged victorious in many events in which they participated. The fest was managed by the student council and the four houses.
Chrysalis- It’s the stage in the life of a butterfly in which the larva builds cocoon around itself and prepares itself to face the world. In this stage only that the wings appear. Clearly, the title justifies the journey of each student of study hall who participated in the fest. The fest helped students discover their latent talents and potential. It was an amazing journey for each one at Study Hall, be it a teacher, student or the supporting staff. The house captains and the student council did their best to make this fest a successful one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: The journey is always more beautiful than the destination. The experiences that one collects on the course of his/her journey is what he/she treasures lifelong. The fest taught students team spirit, time management and most importantly how to think out of the box. Every soul in Study Hall Foundation gave their hundred percent. The successful three-day long gala was the result of the determination, burning zeal, and passion of each individual.
There were over 25 events out of which some are mentioned below:
Elomime- This was for classes 8th-10th. It took place in the junior AC hall. It was also an intra foundation competition. They all took poems and acted beautifully on them.
Dance- The intra foundation dance competition took place on the 26th of July. The participants were from 6th to 12th. It happened on the Senior stage. All the teams danced gracefully on the topic, “I’m the change”.
Indian music- This event was for standards 6th-8th, it happened in the Junior AC Hall. They all sang beautiful folk songs.
Western music- This singing competition was held for classes 9th-12th and they all sang award-winning songs. It happened in the Junior AC hall. The melodious voices held the audience in a spectacular trance as though casting spells with their voices.
Wall painting- All the 7 units of the Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) were allotted a wall in the senior school. They all painted splendor on the canvas depicting the change they wanted to see.
Filmmaking- This inter-house competition focused on the theatrical as well as the photographic skills of the students. All the four houses made movies on change.
Spin a yarn- this inter foundation competition was for classes 9th and 10th. Each team only had one minute to build a gripping tale.
Turn quote- Ever heard the pros and cons of a quote? That’s what Turn Quote is all about. Each participant had to speak both for and against one line in this competition. This competition was for classes 11th and 12th.
Orchestra- This competition was really harmonious. All the participants from classes 6th to 12th were synchronised with their groups. This inter-house competition made the school love music even more.
Rasabhivyakti- The students from class 9-12 of Study Hall participated in this inter-house event in which they had to narrate the poem and enact it. Bringing out the ‘Rasa’ or the true meaning of the poem through acting and narration was the main agenda. Not only the orators but the actors were eloquent and caught us all with their charisma.
Photography- This event was intra-foundation event in which the candidates were required to capture real-life situations. All the wings of the foundation did an amazing job. They depicted around us the world which we so often forget to look at.
Green wall- In this inter-house event, the students created a green art piece using plants.
Yoga- Solo and group competitions were held. The unique part of this competition was the yoga quiz in which participants were tested for their knowledge of Yoga.
Gyananjali- It was an intra-foundation event which had three rounds with different people in each one. There were seven teams.
First round- One word and they had to give a synonym for it.
Second round- A poem was read out and they had to guess the poet.
Third round- A Hindi movie clip was shown and they had to guess the author of the book.The event was one of the most interesting ones.
Western Music-This singing competition was held for classes 9th-12th and they all sang award-winning songs. It happened in the Junior AC hall. The melodious voices held the audience in a spectacular trance as though casting spells with their voices
Every good thing has to end. The Chrysalis 2018 ended on a harmonious note. Western Music competition was the last competition on the list. After that Dr. Urvashi Sahni, founder of Study Hall Educational Foundation addressed the student body. The results were declared and it brought tears of both joy and happiness.It was a victory moment for some and a melancholy note for others. It was a memorable time for Prerna Girls School and Vidyasthali School who secured positions in many intra-foundation events. The glittering golden trophy chose yellow to be it’s favourite. And, even though the winner among the houses, Cypress, cheered for each other and stood tall, they also showed great respect for their fellow teams. The others following in their footsteps celebrated their victory as well.
The school is not only hoisting a flag and banner for change but marches forward or rather flies ahead with the wings that each one of us chose instead of crawling through life, thus, following the words of Rumi, “Why prefer to crawl through life when you are born to fly?”
Inter Houser Trophy
Winner - Cypress House
Winner - Prerna Girls School, Running-up- Vidyasthali School, Malihabad
Story weaving :
Winner - Study Hall School, Running-up- Prerna Girls School
Winner - Study Hall School
Winner - Prerna Girls School, Running-up- Centre for Learning
Winner - Study Hall School, Running-up- Centre for Learning