A record 125 students, across all age groups from K-12, participated in the 4th Vimla Luthra Memorial Hindi Poetry Competition this year. It was organized by Sydney’s leading Hindi school, IABBV, as part of its annual celebration of Hindi divas.
Organized virtually again this year, the students patiently waited their turn at home, appearing on the screen on demand, to make their presentations.
Students Mannat Kaur, Shaurya Gupta, Charlotte John Abu and Rachit Saini took top honors in their Kindy-Year 1, Yr 2-4, Yr 6-7 and Yr 8-12 age categories respectively.
Students Izaan Ali, Zara Mascarenhas, Prisha Ruikar and Rizul Gulati in their age categories won special prizes for presenting their own works.
Prominent Hindi scholars Dr Peter Friedlander and Dr Ian Woolford judged the student presentations along with community litterateurs Kusum Chaudhary, Santram Bajaj, Rekha Rajvanshi and Saba Zaidi Abdi, and teachers Indu Sood and Kavita Sood, in addition of your servant. The judges were unanimous in their conclusion that the standard of student presentations continues to increase year on year.
“I am very proud of all our students and teachers,” said Mala Mehta, Principal and Founder of IABBV Hindi School. indian link later. “It’s been a long lockdown, but we’ve managed to keep the motivation high and the commitment sustained.”
READ ALSO: 3rd Hindi Poetry Competition in Memory of Vimla Luthra
Indeed, if last year the favorite theme in the selection of poems was prakriti (nature), no doubt due to being stuck indoors, the dominant theme this year seemed to be manobal (courage).
Play by poet Narendra Verma Tum chalo in sahi was presented a few times and resonated strongly.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan Guzar jayega, waqt hi to haiseemed to bring comfort to many other students.
Check out these additional poem titles and you’ll understand the drift: Ek subah hogi, Manzil door nahin, Kadam milakar, Koshish kar, Koshish karne walon ki, Hasna hi jeevan hai, Badhe chalo.
There is no denying that the zeitgeist of the pandemic has impacted the younger members of our society.
In fact, there were more than a few poems titled “Corona.”
“Zindagi (life) was a theme we launched this year,” Mala revealed, “as a way to encourage children to reflect on their own lives in this time of conflict.”
They rose to the challenge magnificently, with many young poets choosing to create their own plays. And so we heard Jeevan ki khushiyan, Anmol jeevan, Jeevan moolya, Jeevan ek nadi, Zindagi ke nazaare, Zindagi mast hai, Pyaari pyaari zindagi, Jeevan ke badlaav, Muskurati zindagi.
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Mala’s ability to motivate must surely be her greatest strength. This is evident not only in the growing numbers at the IABBV, but also in the growing number of teachers willing to volunteer there. (Wonderful to have former student Ria Chanana join us as a teacher this year).
Mala’s current passion is to spread knowledge of Hindi and languages in general. The Hindi Diwas event attracted the participation of various stakeholders, including those from the education sector – head teachers, teachers, teachers of other languages such as Chinese and officials from the NSW Education Standards Authority.
“Ten schools in the Sydney area currently offer Hindi,” observed Mala. “But there is room for more. Language learning is not compulsory in New South Wales, particularly at primary level, and this is something we seek to change. »
Also present were state and federal parliamentarians, including three cabinet ministers; local government councillors; the Consul General of India (Sydney), academics and community partners.
Along with the poetry in the parade, guests also got a glimpse of other student work, including a play, a quiz, and vaccination messages in the language.
As the IABBV Hindi School prepares to mark a milestone next year, its 35th, perhaps students and alumni can come together to sing the school song with enthusiasm: Hum honge kaamyaab (We will vanquish).
Yet it seems that the lyrics to another track, so popular this year, could just as well have been Mala’s anthem when she first launched IABBV:
Main raah mushkil hogi hazaar
Tum do kadam badhao to sahi
Ho jaayega sapna saakar
Tum chalo in sahi.
Likewise, these words could well have described Vimla Luthra (1933-2017), after whom the IABBV Hindi poetry competition is named. As her son Pawan told the students at the end of the event, she didn’t start poetry until very late in life. Yet his work continues to inspire many in our community to this day, including IABBV students, some of whom have chosen his work to recite on this special occasion.
READ ALSO: Hindi Diwas at IABBV Hindi School
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