Independence Day – (15th August 2015)
The celebration on the Independence Day this year was very exciting and creative. We planned and organized some functions to commemorate this important day in our nation’s history. We were all busy with many programs such as indoor and outdoor games, decorations etcetera. All of groups shared the responsibility to organize the day. The cultural programs were arranged in the morning. We also had different kinds of games happening throughout the day. We were all very energetic, active and cheerful as the day moved forward. We also learned many good things on that day. The lesson that I found most valuable on that day was the value of time. We should maximize the amount of things that we can do in given amount of time without wasting it. Overall, the plans that we made and organized were achieved. We were also happy because all our staff recognized the hard work that we put into organizing this event. That day everyone got a chance to show their talents in a variety of ways, and at the end of the day we were also rewarded for our participation in the games.
According to me, this Independence Day was very a success, and we had plenty of fun while still learning as a group. This was a memorable celebration.
We celebrated Independence Day on August 15th this year. At 6 in the morning we had 10k run. Then we had a flag hoisting ceremony after mass. After that, we have a variety of cultural programs. Some of my friends did a very good skit that was very educative. It was really beautiful and I have never seen such a good skit that clearly displayed important values, such as peace, joy, and hope.
The dances performed by the girls were amazing and they rocked the stage with their beautiful smiles! One of my friends gave a speech about Independence Day that was very meaningful for all of us. At noon, we had outdoor games that I enjoyed a lot with my friends, and afterwards we had some special food. This day was in full swing and it was a great way to remember our freedom fighters and experience the joy of Independence Day.
Bishop visit to Snehagram:- August 22nd
On August 22nd, we invited the Bishop of Dharmapuri, His Excellency, Rev. Lawrence Pius, to our school to bless and to pray for us, so that we may do well in our studies. We organized a small cultural evening. We also celebrated his feast day by cutting a cake and wishing him well with a beautiful song. He gave us a speech which was discussed the way that we should be conducting our lives. It contained many meaningful messages. He brought some sweets for us and we had a delicious dinner with him. We then thanked the Bishop and gave him a bouquet of flowers as a token of our gratitude to him. As he was about to leave, he once again prayed for all of us and thanked us.
District levelrun on August 7, 8, 9, 2015
Snehagram students were selected for a district level run to take place in early August. After the International Children’s Run, I continued my running practices in preparation for future events. My friends and I did the Bangalore run, and every one of us did very well. We kept running everyday in the morning as it is our daily routine. One day Elvis Joseph, one of our mentors in sports, came to Snehagram and informed us that for those of us that were interested, we could participate in the Karnataka district level meets on August 7th, 8th and 9th. The majority of my friends and I were excited and began to prepare for the race.
Each one of us was allowed to participate in any two events, so I selected the 1000 and 3000 meters race. My friends chose their events in accordance to their interests. Finally, the big day came, and all my friends participated in the events and did very well. As my race started, I moved along with the group. Slowly I moved faster, and it was tough, but I didn’t give up. I maintained this speed and finished the race. I was surprised that I got the 2nd place award in the 3000 meter event and 3rd in 1000 meter. I was very happy that I was selected for state level competitions. It was nice to hear my friend’s say that we could compete with the other normal children and also have an opportunity to run and compete with many others. In the state level race I tried to use the same method that I did in the district level.
At the start of the race, I kept up with the large group and competed with 49 members. I finished the race in 7th place overall. Even though it was a tough competition, I did very well competing with the other children. Losing and winning is part of the sport as well as of our life. That is the lesson that I took away from these experiences. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but to compete and do your best in a race or the marathon is important. We don’t stop running, for it gives us joy and keeps our health in good shape.
Onam celebration:- Onam on August 28 2015
We celebrated Onam on August 28th 2015, in Snehagram. Onam is one of the main festivals of Kerala. The reason behind the celebration of Onam is that it reminds people of Kerala about King Mahabali, who, according to legend, visits people of Kerala every year from the netherworld. On this day, we had sixteen varieties of dishes for our lunch. This is called Onam Sadya. We arranged a floral carpet with flowers and leaves which was very beautiful. We watched a movie and played many games. The day ended with a lot of fun and amusements. We all enjoyed the day and felt the togetherness among us.
International youth day:- August 19, 2015
Babu and I went to Goa to talk about our run in the Netherlands. It was a special moment for me to visit Goa on that August 19th because it was International Youth Day. We were invited there to be honored for our achievements. I was very happy to speak about my experiences and to give a positive outlook on life to those people like me, my friends and for the rest of the young adults who are growing up. I honored by many ministers, namely the chief minister of Goa. They honored Babu and I for our participation in the Child Olympics held in Netherlands in which we competed with other children from various countries. We represented India in that run and I really felt truly honored to represent my country in an event such as this. I felt exhilarating to be in the presence of so many dignitaries, as they listened to me speaking about how any ‘positive’ person can participate in runs such as these.
After the meeting we went to the beach to walk and to enjoy the fresh air and water. It was indeed refreshing, and we enjoyed being in the beach. I hope in the future I may visit to Goa once again.
By: Manik Prabhu
Meeting in Don Bosco AnbuIllam:- 1/ 9/ 2015
I attended a meeting in Salem with some of my friends where I spoke about the unique qualities of the parliamentary system we have established in Snehagram. Many participants there expressed their appreciation regarding the system we have and the way it functions.
I also spoke about our health practices in Snehagram. Many centers give pharmaceutical medicines for coughs and colds, but interestingly our center does not do that. We take a mixture of hot water and honey, which can cure our cough and cold slowly and gradually.
Bijapur meeting :- and Bijapur on September 8th and 9th
Vanitha and I went to a meeting held for local doctors in Bangalore and Bijapur on September 8th and 9th. We both our life experiences and how we are taken care of in our centers. We also shared about the nature of our parliamentary system. We came to learn that doctors have adopted 100 children who are living with HIV. They also gave us some financial support after our sharing. I was very happy to share about my life and I believe it would be helpful for other children who are living with HIV to hear our story. We also visited Gogula Buz in Bijapur. It was a beautiful place and I enjoyed being there.
Kaveri Trail Marathon:- on 19th of September 2015
The Keveri Trail Marathon was held on the 19th of September. We were well prepared for this marathon. We did a few trails in Snehagram in preparation for this event. In the trails, those who completed the run within one hour were selected for the marathon. All the chosen runners were excited and happy. The big day arrived, and before starting the race, we did warm- ups. We were in front row when the run started and didn’t mind the huge crowd behind us. The officials gave us a 20 second countdown.
When the counting came down to four, my heart started beating faster and my legs were shaking; I was nervous but ready to take off. At one point during the race, my leg got twisted, but I didn’t lose my hope. At 8km, the pain in my knee increase, but I still kept running. Slowly the pain reduced, and I took the chance and ran as fast as I could! And, as I thought, I finished in the third place! One of my friends finished in the fourth place, and then all the others followed. I was thrilled and over-joyed. I was given the medal for coming third among the open men’s section. I was rewarded for my hard work. All my friends congratulated me and we came back with wide smiles on our faces. I learned something that day: you will reap the benefits of hard work.
Our Farming- Discovering Plants:-
My name is Chandhrakanth, and I would like to share my thoughts on our farming system in Snehagram. When I started farming, I was hoping that it would give fun, joy and practical experience. My hopes became true, and I learned many useful things. I never had an opportunity like this in my life before this. It was the first time that I got an opportunity for farming in Snehagram. One great use of the farming was that we prepared natural medicines for the students in order to save our money. As we worked in groups it became an easy task. When we started farming, we planted bitter gourd and snake gourd. One of my concerns was not knowing how to make a pandal (support for the plants) for these plants. When I started, I thought my pandal would not be sufficient, but when we finished making the pandal, it was looked very beautiful. Now, when I see the pandal, I remembered what I had thought previously. We work, we observe and we learn. I would like to share what we grew and how much we yielded:
- Bitter gourd 50kg
- Snake gourd 7kg
- Beans 1.5 kg
- Pumpkin 40kg
I hope that we at Snehagram may not forget this achievement in our lives, and I promise that I will keep this in my mind in the days to come.
We engage in farming daily between 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm. We are given some pieces of plot to cultivate. We do it either individually or in partnership, depending on the day. We decide what to plant based on season, availability of water and productivity. Our produce is used for our personal consumption as well as selling the excess product at the market. A well calculated amount is deposited in the name of the students for what they do. We grow a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Our favorite crops are ground nuts, corns, and tomatoes. We find it easy to grow chilies, ground nuts and mango. On an average we yield 50-60 kg of produce. Farming gives us positive engagement in controlling our lives and a great nutrition.