International Day of Peace is observed by nations all across the world on 21st September each year. It is a day that was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly for people around the world to devote to strengthening the ideals of peace, despite any differences they may have, as well as play a part in building a peace culture that will last for generations to come. ON 20th September 2019, at Indus Valley World School we celebrated a day that was characterized by no competition or conflict as we believe that students need to be made aware of the importance of world peace – particularly in the context of growing violence and strife both at home and abroad.
Following a short inaugural programme, the Director, Mrs.Prasad welcomed the keynote speaker for the day, Dr.Rudrangshu Mukherjee, noted historian and Chancellor, Ashoka University. His address to the audience was indeed thought provoking as he emphasized the fact that it is sad that we only celebrate Peace by earmarking one day in the calendar. He spoke about the beliefs of men like Yudhishthira from the Mahabharata, Gautam Buddha, Ashoka and Gandhi, all of whom espoused the call of peace and non-violence. He ended his eloquent speech by quoting from the Upanishads and gave a fervent call for ‘shanti.’
Thereafter students separated into three areas to attend workshops(dance, pottery and history) all celebrating the importance of peace. The pottery workshop was led by noted ceramic artist Ms.Aditi Saraogi, ably assisted by our Art teacher Ms.Mausumi Roy. The students were given a free hand to express their thoughts on peace through the medium of clay. The dancers were at work with Mr. Kaushik Roy, a noted Manipuri exponent and their effort of two hours bore fruit in an exquisite presentation at the closing ceremony to a composition by pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt. The history masterclass was conducted by Ms.Priyadarshinee Guha, Dean-Arts. She took the students through the inter war years(1919-1939) and made them delve into the causes of disruption of peace. Documentary and film clips enabled the students and teachers present to connect with the times in the past. The master class ended with the students talking about the different kinds of violence that surround them and what are the measures they could take to combat them and live in harmony.
The non-competitive environment enriched all the students and teachers present as they all felt that such workshops and collaborative learning could indeed take us in the right direction.