The first quarter of 2015 was both demanding and exciting for the students and staff of Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, a fully free English medium residential school, for the children of the musahar community of Bihar, run by Shoshit Seva Sangh. The process of settling down in the new premises was not easy. However, the new building with all its facilities and its play-grounds make the children proud and excited about their new abode. The new walls and ambience gained the familiarity of a home during the quarter.
We welcomed the New Year with a bang and Littis! The boys prepared their very own delicious littis cooked the traditional, goitha (cow-dung cake) way.
Exam time! The entire month students worked long and hard for their final examinations with the 9th and 10th graders giving two pre board examinations as they prepare for their D-Day in March!
Students learnt the style of Impressionism & did some Pollock-style Action Painting!
As the students excitedly prepared for their Holi vacations, our 10th graders continued their rigourous hard work for their first out-of-school, board examinations. We saw 7 of our best students appear for the CBSE Board examinations this year.
We had the Young India Fellows visit again. This time they conducted Art and Theatre workshops. The boys performed their very own nukkad naatak titled Bachpan on the day we announced results. The play, through self composed songs and drama, tackled various social issues of child marriage and child labour that continue to plague much of their society.
We are proud to announce that Rahul Kumar (XI) and Chandan Kumar (VIII) have bagged a full scholarship seat in the upcoming Dexterity School of Public Speaking, Leadership and Entrepreneurship being one of the winners of Dexterity’s ‘17 under 17’ competition held earlier in 2014. DexSchool is a week-long program where leading professionals meet students to inspire them to unlock their own innovative potential. We hope Rahul has a fruitful experience.
Our 11th and 12th graders (9 students) visited Ashoka University (Sonepat) and Delhi for a ‘Career Orientation Week’ organised by the ELM team of Young India Fellowship. It was a busy schedule with workshops by professionals like Mr. Sushil Jhangiani, counseling and psychometric profiling by Ms. Richa Saklani, demo IIT prep classes and Aptitude tests by Avanti, a visit to Habitat Learning Centre where we met students who are changing their lives with vocational training. There were also many interesting workshops and events by the YIF Fellows. Our students even got to sit for some of the undergraduate classes. A fantastic exposure visit for which we are grateful to the vibrant and extremely energetic group at YIF!
While the seniors were broadening their perspectives in Delhi, our little ones (class UKG, I & II) had a day out at the zoo! We also now have 33 new & very young members added to the SSK family.
On the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, grades VI, VII & VII got to watch ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’, the movie at Cinepolis, PM Mall. It was exciting day for learning and fun. It was also the first time for most visiting a mall in the hub of the city.
The new admissions at Shoshit Samadhan Kendra joined the school in November/December 2014. These are boys in the age-group of 7-8 and have joined in the pre-school class. They are drawn from musahar families living well below the poverty line from the remote and backward villages of Bihar. For these children it is a transition from hopelessness to hope. The process of settling down in the new school building which has a floor area of over 54220 sqft. is just about complete. The facilities in the school building are comparable to the better schools of India. Some photographs of the new school building are placed below. There are now 330 students in the school.
Three students who were picked-up for quality education as part of the private initiative of the Founder-Chairman way back in 2006 graduated from the school in 2014 and are now doing university courses in leading institutions. Two of them are in St. Xavier’s College, Patna, and the third one is in the prestigious Central University of Bihar. Their performance has been very satisfactory and after passing-out in the next two years they shall be qualified and equipped to get high end jobs both in government and in the private sectors. This shall be a land mark achievement and hopefully the beginning of many such achievements.
The annual examinations at the school was held in the 1st week of March, 2015 and all the students have now gone home on vacation. The students are expected to be messengers of social reforms in their community, the most deprived, exploited and unfortunate community in India. While at home they take classes of the children of their community and also educate even the elders on matter of child marriage, alcoholism, need for observing social and personal hygiene etc. Feedback from the students indicates that the elder children belonging to the senior classes of the school are heard with respect within the community. Such is the power of quality education.
Shoshit Samadhan Kendra the fully free English medium residential school shifted to its own building from the hired premises on November 12, 2014. The double storied school building with a compound of 2.16 acres will have a capacity to accommodate about 600 children in residence has a total floor area of 54220 sqft. Almost 80% of the building has been completed. The classrooms are spacious, there is a big courtyard in the middle of the school building and the pride of place ofcourse are the dining hall and auditorium, each having a capacity to accommodate almost 1000 persons. The front elevation is simple but impressive.
The school celebrated Children’s Day on November 14 at which Hon’ble Shri L.K. Advani, Member of Parliament, former Dy. Prime Minister of India, was the Chief Guest. The function held at the new auditorium of the building was attended by Special Invitees and over 500 parents and guardians of the children. The students put-up an extremely impressive cultural performance.
The Chief Guest went round the building and saw the painting and science exhibition put-up by the students. Speaking on the occasion Shri Advani said that India needed many more institutions like SSK and many more people like J.K. Sinha. He was truly moved by the performance of the students. Shri J.K. Sinha, Founder-Chairman, Shoshit Seva Sangh and Lt. Gen. S.K. Sinha (Retd.), former Governor Assam and Jammu & Kashmir and Patron-In Chief of SSS, also spoke on the occasion.
Dexterity 17under17 is a unique talent identification, recognition, and support program designed by Dexterity Global in Boston and implemented by Team Dexterity in India. 17 students from SSK competed with students from around 20 schools of Patna. Eventually Rahul, X standard, made it to the finals held at IGSC Planetarium, Patna on 24th August. He won the runners-up prize in the area of academic excellence.
On 16 August, 2014 senior students of SSK, accompanied by the faculty members, visited Tarumitra (Friends of Trees), a prominent bio-reserve with over 400 species of rare and vanishing trees. This bio-reserve not only imparted environmental education to the students but also exemplified eco-friendly ways of life demonstrated with adequate and sustainable examples in the areas of architecture, conservation of water through recycling, waste disposal, harnessing of solar energy and in living close proximity to nature.
Our students Chandan and Anoj of Class VII bagged the consolation prize in CBSE Sahodaya Spell Bee Contest organised at International School, CBSE Wing, Patna.
On 23rd August, Mrs. Pinki Sharma, a faculty member, organised a 'Hygiene Week' for class I where they learnt about the need for hygienic practices and the different ways one can keep himself clean. The class made posters on cleanliness and put up action songs about cleanliness.
In June 2014, Blaise Joseph, a young artist visited SSK. Blaise facilitates Community based-Art Programs and works with grassroot organizations, with the rural/tribal communities, government schools, educational institutions/centers, homes/orphanages, research based funding organisations as artist-consultant. Blasie conducted art workshops with kids which included a lot of art-based learning activities.
From 11 – 15 June, 2014, four of our students, Shan (XI), Rahul (X), Sameer (X) and Sikandar (IX) attended the DexSchool at St. Xavier’s College, Patna. Some of the most acclaimed innovators and change-makers mentor young, passionate, and driven high school and college students every year in a week long school setting at DexSchool, through knowledge classes, case studies, stories from their own lives, movements, and companies. These extraordinary young people are then given a support system to carry their ideas and enterprises forward and connected to every bit of relevant information and opportunities for the next one year.
Apoorva Singhal from Young India Fellowship visited SSK in the month of June and gave recommendations for landscaping and incorporating BALA (Building as Learning Aid) in our new school premises.
Anahita Prasad, a XII std student from Sri Ram School, New Delhi volunteered at SSK in the month of August. She conducted many educational and edifying activities for the kids especially an MUN session in which the students were asked to talk about Illicit Organ Trade.
Ms. Ritika Lal, a Teach for India fellow, joined SSK as Vice Principal. Ritika holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has a diverse experience in teaching. Before joining SSK, she has taught in the junior section in reputed private schools in Kolkata (Ashok Hall Girls’ School and Mahadevi Birla High School) and as a Teach for India fellow in an MCD School, Jahangirpuri.
Ms. Vaishali Janarthanan joined SSK as Resident Fellow. Vaishali pursued Bachelor of Arts (Economics-Sociology) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She was also one of the exchange students under the Students Exchange Program conducted by Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business studies, St. Xavier’s in collaboration with Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid.
Please follow the link below to watch the video of our students, Ram Murari (III) and Mithilesh (VIII), when they met Sachin in April 2014.
Our new campus is shaping up nicely and we are expected to shift in the last week of October 2014. The total cost of the building is more than 12 crores and will be able to accommodate around 500 students by 2015. 45 more children from far and wide districts like West Champaran and Kishanganj will be joining us in the first week of November. All the students are looking forward to exciting times ahead.
Computer Masti - Annual Teacher Training, Mumbai, May 2014
The Annual Computer Masti Teacher’s Training was held from May 19 – 22, 2014 at IIT Mumbai. The training was conducted with the objective of equipping the Computer Masti teachers with the skills necessary to deliver the content in their full spirit to the students. The training was based on the well-known model of teacher training – the TPACK model (Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge). There were special sessions undertaken by experts and partners in the education field. The speaker list included Prof. Sridhar Iyer (Author – Computer Masti, Co-frounder InOpen, Professor - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay), Mr. Rupesh Shah (CEO and Co-founder, InOpen), Ms. Sucheta Phadke (E-learning content developer and teacher training expert). Our teachers who attended the training were Pinki Sharma and Niraj Kumar Shrivastava.
Photography Workshop by Jesal Bhuta, May 2014
From 27-31 May, 2014 Jesal Bhuta, a professional photographer who owns Mumbai based clickmenow, conducted a series of photography lessons for our students right from grade I to XII. The topics covered were - Basics of photography, its brief history, working of the camera – its basic functions, types of photography, composition & creative visualization, tips and tricks, camera handling, Photo critiques after shooting, brief on photography as a profession, self expression through photography.
A mini project was presented at the end by senior students of classes VIII-XII. Many students were able to use the theoretical lessons and their photographs had nice stories to tell.
New Appointments: Principal and Deputy C.P.O, May 2014
Mr. R. U. Khan from Ujjain who has over 29 years of experience being an educator joins us as the school’s Principal. He holds triple Masters in Political Science, Philosophy, and Sociology & Bachelors Degree in Science and Mathematics. He has a very strong understanding of CBSE policies and procedures. Mr. Baidurya Sen from Kolkata who has just graduated from the Teach For India Fellowship(2012-14) has joined us as Deputy C.P.O. He has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering.
Birla Family supports SSK, May 2014
On 17th May, 2014 Kumar Mangalam and Neerja Birla celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by organizing a philanthropic event inviting twenty impactful organizations from all over India. Shoshit Samadhan Kendra was privileged to be a part of this highly memorable occasion. We extend our congratulations to the Birla Family and hope to get their support in the times to come as well.
41 Boys visit Delhi for 4 days, May 2014
The Young India Fellows organized an exceedingly educational trip for 41 students of SSK. The trip, which had a budget of over Rs 2 lakhs was entirely crowd funded and was very well organized by the fellows. The students visited several places of interest and had heritage walks inside Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Lodhi Gardens, India Gate and went to different institutions of higher learning like National School of Drama, National Institute of Fashion Technology and IIT Delhi. They also had a variety of workshops by their mentors, a session on Ultimate Frisbee by Stray Dogs, Delhi Frisbee Team and a Kathputli show by artists from the Kathputli colony, New Delhi. The trip was a great exposure for the students and has deeply motivated them to bring the best out of them. We are really grateful to the YIF fellows Ashiwn R, Ashwin M and Smrity R for conducting this.
Special Talk-Show on SSK kids aired on DD News
During their Delhi Trip, SSK kids had a chance to visit the studio of Doordarshan and as a part of which a special half an hour talk-show was shot on them named GenNext. The show was aired on 3st May at 1:30 pm and the responses of SSK boys were widely appreciated.
SSK Boys win Art Competition, May 2014
The Buddha Mission of India organized an art competition on 14th May, 2014 on the eve of Buddha Poornima in which 30 students from SSK had participated. All the top five positions were bagged by the SSK boys in the event in which more than 200 children had participate from different schools in Patna.
Workshop by ‘The Looking Glass’, Mumbai, April 2014
From 25 – 28 April, the Founders of The Looking Glass, Anuraag Dhoundeyal and Priyanka Patel conducted a series of workshops for students as well as teachers. The Looking Glass is an initiative towards integrating Arts and Education at the most natural, organic and humane level. They use Music, Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts, to create an ambience that perpetuates the natural development of an individual. There team was here to basically assess the setting up of a dedicated Performing Arts Studio in the school effectively run by TLG.
SSK Boys meet Sachin Tendulkar, April 2014
Two little champs of SSK, Ram Murari (III) and Mithilesh (VIII) met with the Little Master on 10th April, 2014. They had to go through a rigorous selection process to be able to finally win a trip to Mumbai and have lunch with Sachin. The kids bowled him over with their questions and he mesmerized everyone present there with his answers. Other present at the event were Anjali Tendulkar, Annabel Mehta (CEO of Apnalaya, Board Member of GiveIndia) and Amit and Archana Chandra. The entire SSK family had sent loads of presents and good wishes to the legendary cricketer and also extended the invitation to visit SSK.
SSK featured in BBC Hindi,March 2014
On 28 March, 2014 our X and XII std students were featured in a special Hindi edition of BBC where they talk about their dreams and aspirations. The link for the same is:
Mission Society: A Community Development Programme initiated by SSK students, Match 2014
In March 2014, the IX graders came up with an idea of initiating change in their communities by creating awareness about education, sanitation, social evils and much more in their respective villages. In seven days, they covered seven villages, and conveyed their message through street plays. The entire project was self organised and executed by the students themselves. This was a small but very important step in creating long lasting change in the community initiated by these change agents in our students.
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