The 11th International Children's Festival of Performing Arts hosted by the Ryan Foundation under the chairmanship of Dr Augustine F Pinto and the MD of Ryan International Group of Institutions Grace Pinto in association with the ICCR and the National Bal Bhawan took off to an exhilarating start on December 8 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.
Hon'ble President Pratibha Devisingh Patil opened the festival and interacted with the 80-member delegation from 28 countries. A sapling was planted in the unified soil brought by the delegates to symbolise friendship and unity befitting the theme of the festival, 'The world is my playground'. Ambassadors and high commissioners of participating countries encouraged the young cultural ambassadors.
The MD of the Ryan Group, Grace Pinto, stated, "The festival this year is a unique one as in its 11th year it has assumed an important role of involving children from all sections making an impact on society and focusing on different learning styles through kinesthetic skills." Springdales School, Pusa Road, celebrated its 56th annual day and prize distribution ceremony. Padma Shri Geeta Chandran, an eminent Bharatnatyam exponent was the chief guest for the occasion.
The annual report was presented by the principal Ameeta Mulla Wattal and the school prefects. This was followed by the prize distribution ceremony. The highlight of the event was the ballet, 'Badalte Dayre' — conceived and directed by the principal and performed by 400 students. The ballet was a reflection on the state of democracy through the voice of the students. Shantanu Moitra, noted music composer was present on the occasion.
Dr Rajni Kumar, chairperson, Springdales Education Society, presented him the distinguished Alumni Award.
Mrs Loomba, manager, Springdales, Pusa Road, major general Narender Singh, chairman, Springdales, Pusa Road and other dignitaries and parents were also present. St Mark's Senior Secondary School, Meera Bagh, hosted a seven-member student delegation from Millennia Institute, Singapore, led by their teacher David Toh. The students of the Heritage Club of the school took the delegation for Dilli Darshan to see the beautiful historical monuments of Delhi — Qutub Minar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Lotus Temple and Humayun's Tomb. The delegation also visited Purana Quila highlighting the 100 years of Delhi.
The students of Millennia School floored the students of St. Mark's School by performing a dance and a skit to showcase their country's culture. It was indeed a cultural exchange programme to cherish forever.
Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, hosted their annual event 'Lead on' organised by the Student Council, providing an opportunity for the heads of various schools to meet and express their views on a shared platform.
The conference was attended by the head girls and head boys of over 35 reputed schools of Delhi and NCR. Shashi Tharoor, member of Parliament and Varun Gandhi, BJP MP in the Lok Sabha were the keynote speakers. The event also involved a fun and situation game which involved team work. It was followed by the valedictory function.