The students of St Thomas Residential School, Mukkolakkal, were crowned state champions in the ISC section of the 29th All Kerala ICSE/ISC Cultural Competition held on September 20 at Alphonsa Residential School, Bharananganam in Kottayam.
The competition, which saw the participation of as many as 68 schools in the ICSE category and 39 in the ISC category, had about eight events, which included declamation, essay writing, extempore, light music, group song, debate, Bharatanatyam and folk dance.
“The ICSE section had a ninth event - recitation,” said Thara A C, the teacher who accompanied the students. “We bagged prizes in six of the events which got us the overall trophy in the ISC section, which is Class XI and XII. We also came third in the ICSE section, where Hari Sri Vidya Nidhi School, Thrissur won first place.”
One of the students who had a hand in getting the trophy for his school is Aditya Pazhoor Abraham, who won the second place in the declamation competition for the ICSE section.
“We had to give ‘The light has gone out’’ speech of Jawaharlal Nehru, where he announced the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on All India Radio,” Aditya said. “Not only did we have to speak with the right expression, emotion and intonation, we also had to dress like Pandit Nehru, cap, rose and all.”
Having beat some 54 others to claim the second position, his first state-level prize, Aditya has also been selected for the national-level competition which will be held next month at Kolkata.
“I just got the topic yesterday. There, I will have to give the speech Chetan Bhagat gave at Symbiosis, Pune,” said Aditya, referring to the inaugural speech Chetan Bhagat gave to the new batch of the institute’s BBA programme in 2008, where he advised the students to ‘Keep their spark alive.’
No less jubilant is Pooja Padmakumar of Class XI, who won prizes for debate and extempore.
“The topic for the debate, where we won third place, was ‘Emerging Kerala’, where my teammate Jachin Victor spoke for and I against the topic,” she said. “I spoke on how I didn’t want big industries at the cost of our environmental resources and my partner argued that development cannot happen without industrial investment. But since there was no rebuttal round, I didn’t feel it was a proper debate.”
Among the other prize-winners are Jonathan George and Joann Rachel, who each bagged the first prize for individual western song, and Anjali Mohandas, who got the first in Bharatanatyam.
Apart from prizes for cultural events, there was also a felicitation ceremony for the toppers of ICSE and ISC for the academic year 2011-12, where seven students from the school (five in ICSE and two in ISC) had secured the first, second and third highest marks.