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Local News December 2017

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MINDSCAPE 2017

One in every four people on this planet suffers from a mental illness. In the world where 450 million people are currently suffering from it and many more are indirectly affected, there is not enough acceptance in the society for the needs and difficulties of those suffering from a mental ailment. Recognizing this need in society, Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai has, for the past three years held ‘The Mindscape Project,’ their initiative as a school to inculcate the values of mindfulness and empathy among students and parents. Keeping with this year’s theme of Depression, several speakers ranging across all professions, from counselors, motivational speakers and slam poets addressed the students to give them an all-rounder perspective on the difficulties faced by those suffering.

Life coach Mr. Rajeev Mehra in his address, taught the students the importance of Mindfulness, and how it leads to the discovery of one’s self, and eventually a happier living. Ms. Manika Khanna touched on the same topic, by making the students ask themselves the question, “Who am I?” and an activity to know one’s true self. Ms. Sonal Panda helped the students understand the difference between Hearing and Listening, and how this difference could be the key in really helping a person going through difficult times.


Simar Singh, through his poem How To Be A Man shed light on how society helps promote unrealistic ideas of perfection among us, discouraging people from coming out and accepting their own flaws. The students also visited several NGOs like Ummeed, the National Association for the Blind and Om Creations, to understand better the hurdles that people with disabilities face, and were inspired by the indomitable will shown by them to overcome their adversities. The students got an all-rounded experience in understanding the various facets involved in being accepting and empathetic to those with mental disorders, and realized that the most significant role had to be played by us, by eradicating the stigma surrounding the subject in society. 

On the 13th of October, celebrating the end of the World Mental Health Week, the students of the ISC and the IBDP section organized an exhibition to showcase several interesting psychological phenomena, ranging from topics like Memory and Personality to ones like Stereotypes and Decision Fatigue, which was an eye-opener and an object of fascination for the visiting students and parents. 
The Mindscape Project 2017 was a success and achieved its goal of reaching one step closer, in the words of the Principal Mrs. Kalyani Patnaik, to creating a safe and happy environment for the holistic development of students in the school and in society.

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“Sanskruti” program organized by
“Aai Marathi” group of Raheja Vihar.

Raheja Vihar’s, Vista Banquet hall was bustling with beautiful Maharashtrian women wearing Nauwari Paithanee  sarees and with their men wearing Silk Jhubbas and Dhotees.  Guests were greeted at the entrance of the hall with 'Gulab-pani' and 'Attar' and there were Shehnai tunes reverberating in the hall. The occasion was “Sanskruti” program organized by “Aai Marathi” group of Raheja Vihar. 

“Aai Marathi” is a group of Maharashtrians, staying in Raheja Vihar, who were brought together by Shribanee and Sanjeev, almost a year ago, for the purpose of networking and helping to keep Maharashtrian culture alive in our today’s busy and cosmopolitan lifestyle.
 
On 11th November evening Aai Marathi organized “Sanskruti” event, which was attended overwhelmingly by Maharashtrians staying in Raheja Vihar. The program of various performances, gave audience a brief introduction of rich and versatile Maharashtrian culture. The performances included Ganesh Stavan – a song to pray lord Ganapati; a Bhondala – a traditional dance of Marathi women performed during Navratri; a Mangalagaur –  tradition of fun-filled nights of newly -wed girls on Shravan Tuesdays;  Dindi – a dance and songs sung by Warkaris who walk to Pandharpur on eleventh day of Hindu Calendar month Ashadh; a Tabla recital and Marathi bhav-geets – an expressionist poetry which is very popular amongst Maharashtrians. Program also included, an eminent writer Ratnakar Matkari’s Marathi play “Aajacha Ekach Pyala” – a parody of an old Sangeet Natak “Sangeet Ekach Pyala”.

All these entertainment activities were performed by members of Aai Marathi itself and were greatly appreciated by the audience. The audience were so thrilled, that every performance received standing ovation and even “Once more” in many cases.

This was followed by typical Maharashtrian dinner which included Masale bhat, Bharali wangi and Solachi kadhi along with other traditional recipes.   Sribanee Sanjeev,  Dhruv Patil, Pankaj Sawant and Archana Joshi were committee members who spearheaded the entire show. 
 
Members of Aai Marathi were so happy that one member even commented later that she was shifting to Parle east to be amongst Maharashtrians, but now after Sanskruti event has changed her mind and will continue staying in Raheja Vihar!!  
Sanskruti was all in all a great successful event.