Interact Club Installation Ceremony 2018
The Installation Ceremony with the 4th Executive Board of Directors of the Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata was held on the 21st of July, 2018.The programme started with a welcome address followed by felicitation of the guests. Among the many esteemed guests present were the President of the Rotary Club of Chowrenghee, Ms. Alka Chopra, the DICC, Mrs Moushumi Bhattacharya, Director-New Generation, Sudeshna Roychowdhury and
Past President, Ms. Urmi Basu.
There was a short cultural programme, beginning with a solo rendition of an old classic, “What a Wonderful World”, followed by a mesemerizing dance performance symbolising women empowerment. The highlight of the morning were the Sri Kripa children who sang a medley of songs, and received a standing ovation from the audience. This was followed by a video summarising the Interact activities undertaken last year.Thereafter, the collar was handed over by the outgoing President Mahak Agarwal to the incoming President Darsa Jhanwar. The badging ceremony preceded the handing over of a certificate to the Past President for her invaluable contribution to the Interact Club. The Principal, Ms Shunglu, addressed the youngsters, motivating them to take up various projects and ‘spread their wings’. Ms. Alka Chopra lauded the efforts of the Interacters. Mrs. Moushumi Bhattacharya assured Interacters of continued support. Ms. Urmi Basu urged each one to count his blessings. Finally, projects for the ensuing year were enumerated by the new President. The curtains were brought down with the vote of thanks being delivered by the Past President. The ceremony ended on a happy note as the Interacters chatted away gaily with the Rotarians and other guests over light refreshments.
Interact Club Project 1: A Talk on Leadership
INTERACT CLUB 2018: PROJECT 1
A Talk on Leadership: Mr Utpal Chatterjee
The Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy organised a talk on LEADERSHIP and other allied subjects by Mr. Utpal Chatterjee, a seasoned Rotarian, the former Sheriff of Kolkata and currently a journalist with the BBC London, on the 26th of July, 2018. Members of different clubs of the school, such as MUN, Music Club, Quiz Club, Heritage Club and IAYP, numbering around 200 students and teachers, attended the talk.
Mr. Chatterjee began his speech by taking a walk down memory lane, sharing his experience as the President of his school Interact Club. He focused on this year’s Rotary motto, “Be the inspiration” and spoke of the mantra he has followed all his life— “being good, staying good and doing good”. Mr. Chatterjee also outlined the importance of education, sanitation and the spirit of service. He spoke on environmental concerns having reached a “critical stage” and also encouraged students to plant more trees and “go green”. He concluded his speech by stating that “no joy in the world is comparable to the joy of giving”, and urging students to “find reasons to serve”. His speech was followed by an interactive question-answer session with the rapt audience. The programme ended with a vote of thanks and the felicitation of the speaker.
Interact Club 2018-19 Project 2: Visit to Society 5-O school
The Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy visited a charitable primary school run by Society 5-O in Behala, on the 30th of August, 2018. The Interacters received a warm welcome from the students there, 90 in number. They interacted with the children, starting from nursery to class IV. The children recited and sang songs with much enthusiasm. The Interacters gifted the children a packet of stationery each and handed over 50 kg of rice for their mid-day meals. This visit brought home the importance of gratitude and exemplified the Interact motto of “service above self”. The visit came to an end with the distribution of sweets among the children. The bright smiling faces touched all hearts. The Interact Club has pledged 50 kgs of rice to them every alternate month.
It was a truly humbling experience and a lesson in empathy.
INTERACT CLUB PROJECT 4: FUNDRAISER:
The Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy organised a Fundraiser on the 22nd of September, 2018. The Interacters put up two stalls – the ‘FOOD STOP’ and ‘KNICK KNACKS’. A variety of home- made delicacies as well as hand- made craft items were made available. While ‘KNICK KNACKS’ hosted a wide variety of quilled envelopes, paper bags, colourful bookmarks and gift tags, the ‘FOOD STOP’ boasted lip-smacking, delicious food such as flavoured popcorn, chocolate and blueberry cupcakes, “chhola tikkia”, nachos with cheese dip, corn and cheese sandwiches, walnut brownies and cold beverages. Within a few hours FOOD STOP counters ran dry. The Interacters’ organisational skills were evident throughout. Not only were the cash counters managed well, but the food was also served without delay.
A total amount of ₹ 26,894 was raised by the Interacters. This sum will be used for various charities that the Interact Club supports. The event, put up at very short notice, was a runaway success.
Interact Club Project: Daanotsav
INTERACT CLUB PROJECT: DONATION OF OLD CLOTHES TO SOROPTOMIST INTERNATIONAL:
On 4th October, 2018 five Executive Board members of the Interact Club handed over donations collected from senior school students during Daanotsav, to Soroptomist International. The goods were packed in five large cartons by the Interacters, who ensured that all the donations comprising clothes and shoes, were in good condition and could be gifted to the less privileged on the occasion of Durga Puja. Interacters believe that sharing brings good cheer and spreads happiness. Soroptomist International has handed over the donations to some villages they support in the Sunderbans.
INTERACT CLUB PROJECT: WORLD SMILE DAY:
21 members of the Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy attended the screening of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ on 4th October, 2018 at the Lincoln Hall, American Centre. The screening was organized by Rotary International District 3291 in collaboration with the American Centre in order to commemorate World Smile Day.
Rotarian Dr. Sudipta Chandra addressed the group of Interacters buzzing with excitement. He mentioned the significance of joy and happiness in life and it’s impact on health and general well-being. Later, the Director of American Centre spoke about the role that the American Centre plays, along with its ancillary organizations, USIEF and American Library, in promoting and nurturing the spirit of knowledge among young adults. Following the speeches, the halls echoed with the laughter of the Interacters at Charlie Chaplin’s hilarious yet shockingly accurate portrayal of the average ‘industrial worker’. The film ‘Modern Times’, set in the backdrop of the widespread unemployment in 1930’s, explored the inequalities faced by workers belonging to the lower strata of society. The sardonic yet brilliant humour, common to all of Chaplin’s works, was very much visible in this classic. The film teaches us to be resilient regardless of the conditions we face.
Professor Subhrata Chatterjee, Film Studies Department of Jadavpur University, delivered a talk on the economic and social conditions under which the film was made and released. He also threw light on Charlie Chaplin’s contribution in the field of cinematic art and how this film still has a contemporary flavour.
Finally the Interacters moved to the American Library to witness a unique exhibition by the ‘Makers Loft’ displaying robots made by children aged 5 to 18 years. These robots seek to solve the major logistics problem associated with any warehouse or departmental store, paving the path for truly “modern times ”in the history of humankind.
INTERACT CLUB PROJECT: COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Fifteen members of the Interact Club visited the slum areas in the school neighbourhood on 3rd October, 2018. The Interacters, divided into groups of three, visited two homes and one shop each, in order to spread health and hygiene awareness amongst the residents and shop owners. They spoke to them about the prevention of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and urged people to take steps in order to help prevent breeding of disease-causing mosquitoes in uncovered water stored in buckets and other utensils.
Another area of thrust was to make people understand the long-term ill-effects of using plastic bags. Residents were urged to use paper, cloth and jute bags instead.
The Interacters spoke about the various safe methods of garbage disposal, rather than discarding it on the streets. At the end of each visit, the Interacters handed over a gift bag containing bathing bars, an umbrella, detergent powder, toothpaste, and other day-to-day necessities for maintaining personal and community hygiene.
The local residents were extremely supportive and welcoming, and appreciated the efforts made by the Interacters. It was an excellent learning experience, giving the youngsters a real-time opportunity to interact and communicate meaningfully with the neighbourhood community.
Interact Club Project: Shobuj Mon:
Interact District 3291 organised an ambitious project SHOBUJ MON, a tree plantation drive, on 12th August, 2018 in St.James’ School.The morning started with a ”meet-and-greet” session, with scores of Rotarians and Interacters chatting over cups of tea and coffee. This was followed by a programme highlighting the need to protect the environment by planting more trees. The District Governor, District 3291, Mr Mukul Sinha, addressed the gathering, stressing the need to make the youth take the initiative and responsibility of taking care of the environment.
Sri Sri Academy was awarded a certificate for their pledge to plant 100 saplings. Ms Radhika Bagadhey, teacher coordinator of the Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy, collected the certificate on behalf of the members of the Interact Club.
Subsequently, the saplings were collected from the designated nursery and distributed among villagers in Uluberia, for them to plant according to their convenience.
INTERACT CLUB PROJECT: VISIT TO NAVNEER
The Interacters of Sri Sri Academy were privileged to have visited Navneer, a home for the aged on 23rd October,2018 to offer Bijoya greetings to the residents.
Navaneer is a short/long stay home for senior citizens in Kolkata. It is a ‘non-profit’ home ‘pay and stay’ setup.
Sweets and samosas were distributed to the 100 inmates
there. Each person was also gifted bathing soap and hair oil. Interacters chatted with the elderly and sang both Bengali and Hindi songs for the residents. The morning ended on a happy note when the inmates participated by singing most enthusiastically. Interacters spent two hours with them and came away happy to have brought smiles on their faces. Enriched with their blessings, Interacters promised to return soon with more song and dance.
Interact Club Project : Guest Speaker
The Interact Club of Sri Sri Academy hosted guest speakers Ms. Sushmita Ghose and Mr. Sukhwant Grewalon 15th November, 2018. The speakers introduced us to ‘Support Elders’, an organisation which provides a one-stop solution for all possible needs of the elderly. The organisation aims at enhancing the quality of life of the elderly, who live on their own – usually with their children living in a different city in India or abroad. The speakers elaborated on how ‘Support Elders’ provides financial, social and economic aid to the elderly. They introduced us to a product — a smart, lightweight wristband with an alert button that is provided to all members who sign up with them. In case of distress, the member pushes the button which triggers an alarm and automatically notifies the National Alarm Centre (NAC). NAC is a centre created by Support Elders’ team of ex-servicemen. The in-built location identifier and tracker notifies the NAC of the member’s precise location. An ambulance and a member of the staff is sent to the location. The member is then ferried to a pre-decided hospital and it is ensured that emergency medical aid is provided at the earliest.
Thereafter, speakers shared stories from their experience and how it feels to be a part of ‘Support Elders’. They encouraged members of the Interact Club to work hand in hand with them. This was followed by an interactive session of questions and answers.
Interacters look forward to spending time with the elderly by joining them on picnics, assisting them in their desire to learn the creative arts and enabling them in the use of modern technology.