BENGALURU: The last few months saw Class 9 student Sneha Somu diligently spending two hours after school to learn new words in English. This was part of the Honnaganahatti Government High School student’s preparation for the Sahasra Deepika Annual Spelling Bee Contest, which she also won.
“My teacher KG Ravikumar taught us the pronunciation of 50 words every day. My parents and neighbours feel proud of me when I read spellings out loud. I’m glad that I could fulfil their expectations by coming first in the competition,” says Somu, whose father is a worker at a welding shop.
Sahasra Deepika Foundation has been conducting the Annual Spelling Bee Contest for Class 9 students studying in Kannada medium Government schools in Bengaluru rural and urban areas, since 2009. This year marked the 11th edition of the contest. Over 96 finalists from 24 schools competed for the championship on January 18, which was held at RV Teachers College in Jayanagar.
“This contest aims at breaking the restriction imposed on the potential of students in government schools. By exposing students in Kannada medium Government schools to over 1,200 commonly used English words, taken from their textbooks, a language barrier can be overcome,” says Vijaya Ramakrishna, founder, Sahasra Deepika, adding that the programme helps identify talented students and encourages them to move forward with confidence, while also creating an opportunity for students from different schools to interact.
While Somu won the 2020 Spelling Bee Championship, Pavitra K of Maragondanahalli High School and Yatish Nagapushpa from Honnagonahatti Government High School won the second and third place, respectively. Nagapushpa, whose mother works in the garment sector, shares that the platform helps better his vocabulary. “My mother earns `6,000 per month, we are not from a well-settled family. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming big. I want to become an IAS officer and such contests give me the confidence to follow my dream,” he added.
The Spelling Bee was moderated by Dr G Sridhar, founder and MD, ACE Creative Learning and was attended by chief guest Seemant Kumar Singh, who is the Inspector General of Police, administration, DG & IGP Office, Bengaluru.