7th Padamshree Naina Devi Talent Contest — Chapslee’s Quest for the Best

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Sonia Dogra, Keekli Reporter, 5th October, 2016, Shimla

The host School take the overall 7th Naina Devi Talent Hunt Trophy while Saraswati Paradise International School, Shimla comes in close at second place followed by Durga Public School, Shimla

Chapslee.NainaDevi.5.10 (15)Chapslee School, Shimla organised the 7th Padamshree Naina Devi Talent Contest in their school premises today. An annual event in the school calendar, the competition has garnered much attention ever since it was first held in 2010. Naina Devi or Naina Ripjit Singh was an Indian vocalist of Hindustani classical music. She was mostly known for her thumri renditions. She was awarded the Padamshree in 1974. Mother of Kanwar Ratanjit Singh, CEO Chapslee, the school organises the talent hunt competition every year in her remembrance and to encourage budding talent in the schools of the region.

This year too, the event saw participation of fifteen schools from the region, namely JCB Public School, Rashtriya Military School HP, Durga Public School Solan, BSN High School Chakkar, DAV Public School New Totu, Saraswati Paradise International Public School, City Public School Kamla Nagar, Central School for Tibetans, Ivy International School, Dagshai Public School, DAV Public School New Shimla, Chinmaya Vidyalya Nauni, Gurukul International Solan, Bishop Cotton School Shimla and the host school Chapslee.

Chapslee.NainaDevi.5.10 (19)The occasion was graced by Lt Gen Raman Dhawan, Chief of Staff, Army Training Command. The various events included Hindi and English Declamation, Painting, Sketching, Lazeez-e-Dawat (dry cooking) and Jhankar (On stage Presentation). The judges for the day were Rupankush Nagal, banker by profession and a theatre artist and choreographer; Sonia Dangwal, former teacher and Keekli reporter, with a past in public speaking and creative writing; Preeti Comar, classical dancer, artist; and Neelam Comar, Kathak dancer and artist. The schools were not allowed to carry anything that displayed their school name or individual identity, including badges or belts. The teams were given numbers and it was only during the result declaration that individual and school identities were disclosed.

Chapslee.NainaDevi.5.10 (17)As has been rightly said, if you’re young and talented, it’s like you have wings. Well, the participants at the Naina Devi Talent Hunt not only had wings but surely took some memorable flights as they enticed all present there. With some insightful public speaking on topics ranging from girl child, child labour and the power of the written word to technology turning men into buffoons, giving precedence to disposition over position and believing that children need role models more than critics, the students presented themselves with confidence and impressive, lucid ideas. The conviction with which some of the speakers gave their views speaks volumes of the vast sea of knowledge that the present generation swims in.

Chapslee.NainaDevi.5.10 (3)The sketches with still life were probably the toughest judgement made. Each sketch was done with precision and a craftsmanship worthy of every appreciation. Colours of India was the theme for the painting competition and the vivid colours on canvas brought forth by the budding painters were a treat for the eyes.

In dry cooking too children proved that there is no field in which they cannot excel. A variety of dishes ranging from kiwi pudding and coconut laddoo to bread dahi bhalla and oreo cake were displayed creatively and tickled the taste buds as well.

Chapslee.NainaDevi.5.10 (4)It was Jhankar – On Stage Presentation that left everyone spell bound. Classical dances and melodious  renditions were par excellence and students truly set the stage on fire which is so wanting of such an event.

The host school then came up with some entertaining performances which were followed by the results. Even as rain tried to play spoil sport, it could not dampen the spirits of those present there. As a number of prizes were given away (six in each category), most children left the venue happy and content, having learnt something new from their fellow contestants. Those who missed a win promised to get back better and stronger next year. Probably, Padamshree Naina Devi had envisioned something similar and the event is a befitting tribute to her. For talent can’t be taught, but it can be awakened and this is one of the many platforms aiming to do the same.

Proud Winners

Hindi Declamation — 1st Bhawna Panwar, Saraswati Paradise; 2nd Muskan Chauhan,  Chapslee School; 3rd Nimisha Jha, DAV, New Totu;

Consolation Prizes — 1st Gaurav Kumar, Rashtriya Military School; 2nd Prerak                    DAV, New Shimla; 3rd Deepshikha, City Public School

English Declamation — 1st Pranjali Sood, DAV, New Shimla; 2nd Akshit Chauhan, Chapslee; 3rd Sidhant Thakur, Saraswati Paradise

Consolation Prizes — 1st Ruchika Sharma, Central School for Tibetans; 2nd Arihant Srivardhan, Chinmaya Vidyalya, Nauni; 3rd Tanvi, BSN High School, Chakkar

Painting — 1st Faizam, BSN High School, Chakkar; 2nd Anvi Chauhan, Ivy International; 3rd Aditi Tripathi, Durga Public School, Solan;

Consolation Prizes — 1st Kartik Kumar, Rashtriya Military School, HP; 2nd Aastha Dangi, DAV, New Shimla; 3rd Rajat Sharma, JCB Public School

Sketching — 1st Ekam Preet Kaur, Chapslee; 2nd Arsh Khagta, Durga Public School, Solan

3rd Shruti Chauhan, Saraswati Paradise

Consolation Prizes — 1st Bhuvan Thakur, JCB Public School; 2nd Ananya Diwedi, Gurukul International; 3rd Palden Wangzin, Central School for Tibetans

Jhankar (On Stage Presentation) — 1st Muskaan, Sheetal, Vanshika, Chapslee; 2nd Tanya Verma, Saraswati International; 3rd Kirti, Sonali, Central School for Tibetans

Lazeez-e-Dawat (Dry Cooking) — 1st Anmol Verma, Nitin Sharma, Chapslee; 2nd Jigyasa Negi, Sukriti Panwar, Saraswati Paradise; 3rd Smriti Chandel, Anmol, Gurukul International

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