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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2009-10 : Day 2

This day we had scheduled only 3 events.  The Drawing competition for Lkg to 5th Std; Instrumental Fusion and Dancing competition.  The Prize Distribution was slated in the evening. 
Drawing competition being the individual entry, always draws largest number of participants and in some ways tough for the Organisers.  This year we did have plans in place.  There were three groups : A of Lkg & Ukg; B of 1st & 2nd standards and C of 3rd, 4th & 5th standards.  Each presented problems in their own unique ways.  The First group was that of crawling babies and the parents intervention would be extraordinary, the second – would allow their wards but would be too anxious.  The third one would be high volume, a bit unruly coupled with some fostering parents.
Though the event was to commence at 10.00 am, milling crowds gathered in at the front of the school slowly filling everywhere. The registration form required for collection of student details was distributed at very many places by our volunteers.  People were getting unruly and at times impatient.  We had 3 different blocks for the different groups.  The first block abutting the ground was the venue for 3,4 & 5.  We ensured that the entry (to be more precise the to be exit point be only one, so that children would not escape from all sides).
The kids of Lkg & Ukg were grossly managed by Soundarya Rathnamala, the 1st and 2nd in the block after the gallery.  We tried to usher in systems by regular announcements over the loud speaker – still some confusion prevailed. 
Each room was to have one room coordinator who would collect the Registration slips, hand over the chart to the child, ensure that details are filled in – write the participation certificate and handover to the child the gift and participation certificate.  Fine on paper.
After the start of the event also, children were pouring and even after an hour, some parents were arguing that they had travelled long distance and hence the late.
Would it not be fair to be at the arena in time – school children ; can they afford to go to school so late.  Fostering parents who would reel out reasons kept coming late – though some did sound genuine.  We were not prepared to disappoint the children and kept extending the time line though this tested our infrastructure and the temperament of the volunteers at service.  Sanity prevailed.  Then we were faced with acute shortage of certificates.  Some of us would have walked the length and breadth of corridors very many days seeking whether there could be some excess some where.  In the end, simply there were not enough certificates and some children had to come down without certificates.  The parents and children were anguished.
SYMA can never tolerate this and we had some special Xerox made.  This 150 vanished into thin air.  I did not lose cool and kept assuring every body that all that was expected from them was to wait for some time and we would ensure certificate for every participating children.  Satyam Lay out responded in style speedily and soon we had more than required numbers; some volunteers were readily at the desk, jotting out cleanly the certificates for the waiting children.  SYMA apologises for the small glitch which made some children (& their parents) wait.  There were some uncharitable remarks from some parents though most cooperated well.
Then we had the Instrumental Fusion, organized for the first time.  This was very interesting.   The concluding programme was the Group Dance for children upto 5th standard which had tough competition in 14 teams out dancing each other.  This has been a popular event.   Special mention for the children from Corporation Middle School, Triplicane who come from a very low strata of society and big hand to the teachers of the schools who exhibited total commitment. 

The Prize Distribution started at 6.20 pm.  The event started with prayer.  S Sampathkumar {Yours Truly} (Editor – BLISS) compered the programme.  I started with a tamil poem which meant that ‘ sweet words are always the need of the hour as none would feel happy with harsh words; the sea would ebb on seeing the cool moon and not in the presence of the hot sweltering Sun’.  This was a comparison to our happiness in seeing a large turnout for the prize distribution function. 
Our President TA Sampathkumar rendered the Welcome Address and dwelt at length about SYMA and mainly about our Hospital and Education programme – the Growth. He spoke of our cherished ambitions in graduating into a self sustained education training institution and more plans. 
The Chief Guests of the day were Mr M Murali of Sri Krishna Sweets and Vivek – the famous cine comedian.  Our Secretary SR Ragunathan introduced Vivek – of his education at American college, Madurai; his winning the Film Fare award 4 times, Asia Net award and the Padma Shri in 2009.
Mr Murali is no stranger to SYMA and has made financial contributions in the past.  He was introduced to the audience by me.  Sri Krishna Sweets is almost as old as independent India, having been started in 1948.  Murali has won Visveswaraya Award; hailed as the Best Business Person in 2006 by Indo American Business community at New York, Newjersey, City of Pearl & Minnesotto State honoured him for his commitment to quality and excellence.  A very benevolent person, he is associated with almost all good activity in the State, exhibits special care in carnatic music  and is a member of very many organizations like – Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chinmayas, Hamsadwani, Exonera, Chamber of Commerce, Rama baktha sabha, Red cross and much more.
Mementoes were presented to Vivek by Durai @ Seshardri our VP and to Murali by our Treasurer Sudarshan. 
SYMA is 33 years young and is ageing gracefully.  The average age has been going up.  This time it has changed primarily due to Sanjeevi Ragunathan and his energetic team of volunteers – a teeming group of girls and working boys.  This time their vigour and hard work was greatly visible.  Kudos to their commitment and planning.  This ‘young brigade’ was called on to the stage and honoured with special gifts.
Soundarya Rathnamala is a zealous group headed by Mrs Prema Krishnamohan and this group excels in whatever they do.  Besides performance in more than 500 stages, they actively do social service in the form of helping the blind students and more. Mrs Prema herself has donated blood for over 30 times.  This group was also honoured on stage.
SYMA has a face, a web of its own :  Child Fest has a voice also – our land line 28441078 is known to all as schools and parents contact this no. for all details including the results.  Mrs Vasudha Bakthisaran who handles this was also honoured.
This time we placed the results on web dynamically and today alone the count of visitors is more than 2200 ; yesterday another 700 had clocked in.
I quoted another tamil poem which meant that for great work one had to cut down sleep, for fame render good music and for posterity in another world, should do lot of donations and good things.  This is apt for Mr Murali who has the adage ‘society cannot change by itself unless every individual contributes to the change’.  He has been doing lot towards social causes and he was invited to speak.  He spoke very briefly.
Another tamil poem which meant that for checking the rice in boiling pot, one rice check would do and people could be determined by one word that falls out of their mouth.  Vivek has expressed enough in cultivating the society.  Vivek had a thundering applause and delivered a very entertaining speech.  He said Murali made people walk – in one way by starting the day with morning walk, making others think that if such a busy man finds time for walking, why not all ? in another way, the sweets caused rise in sugar and people were advised to walk to control this.  ‘advertisement is required for bringing product into limelight and publicity so for man’.  The great Subrahmanya Barathi lacked publicity with which he could have commanded respect of the entire world and should have easily won a Nobel Prize.  He praised the vision of Bharathi.  He queried as to who the Superstar in T Nadu (obvious reference to Rajni) in Andhra (Chiranjeevi) and said the Supreme star of India was His Hon’ble  A P J Abdul Kalam.  Just as there are days for Mother, Father, lover, Children etc., he suggested that we should celebrating APJ’s birthday as students day.  He entertained the audience with some short anecdotes - a story of mother urging the boy to do some good; the boy wiping out the blood of an aged person and attending to him medically and then removing a bolster from the middle of the road – the mother appreciated the gestures without knowing that this boy had thrown that big stone which in fact had injured the old man.  He went on to repeat another story of honest agriculturist who gets back his lost axe along with silver & gold ones by an angel.  He added the man losing his wife and telling yes to the first present of a cine actress and later telling that if he were to be honest and angel giving him all – he would suffer.  He quoted Bill Gates as saying :if you are born poor, it is not your mistake but if you die as one, it is yours.  He quoted APJ as saying that waves are always inspirational – not because they fall but because they rise after every fall.  He rendered a medley querying as to how AR Rahman would render the famous vadai story and had it to the tune of ‘jai ho’.  The crowd did enjoy.
Going by the Thirukkural that one has to thank in a big way for even small compassions received, we thanked all those who helped us in the conduct of the show.  TJ Ramani proposed the vote of thanks.
{Vote of Thanks to  :
Main Sponsor : Gold Winnder (CR Sridhar & Media Dreams)
Other Sponsors : Mangal Tirth Foundations, United India Insurance, Reynolds, Arun Ice Creams)
Venue : Principal & Staff of NKT Training college ; HM & staff of NKT National Girls Hr Sec school;
Media for coverage specially Hindu Down town; State arrangements and barricade : Cheran and Back drop : Ramesh / kapali
All judges ; schools; participants; parents & teachers
All volunteers of SYMA, NCC cadets (Mrs Uthra Sarang for organizing them), K Kesavan for the stylish certificate writing.
Cleaning : SRP, D Veeraraghavan and conservancy staff
M Raguram for the masterly organizational skills in keeping the main room.  Durai, SRP & KS Varadharajan for organizing the prizes.
Printing : Swaraj Graphics Mani, S Vivekanandan, Mr Kumaresan of Laxmi Priya & Satyam Layout
Food : Raghavendran caterer; Electrician and Photographer PS Babu
Thank you all of you.
Child Fest has been for individual talents and collective representation of schools.  This year we instituted an award for the “Best performing school”.  The award was sponsored by Sri Krishna Sweets and bagged by DAV Girls Sr. Secondary School Gopalapuram.  They secured 525 points outsmarting the next rival by 300 points.  For every 1st prize the school got 100 points; 50 for second and 25 for the third.  Mrs Kanakalakshmi collected the tropy from the chief guests.
All the prize winning children were called to the stage one by one and were handed over trophies and prizes.  Mr Vivek  & Murali remained with us till the very end and we are very thankful for the cooperation and the gesture.
The programme ended with ‘National Anthem’.
Well done SYMA – All Office bearers and all volunteers.  Special word of praise for Sanjeevi and his youth brigade
Regards – Sampathkumar S


  1. would like to add Mr. Kumaresan of Laxmipriya color prints to the 'thank you' list, for printing the certificates at cost. -Kannan

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